China’s Electric Buses Have Larger Impact on Oil Demand than Electric Vehicles

Graphic of a bus with an electric logo

Electric vehicles are widely discussed as displacing oil demand, but a new study shows electric buses are having a much larger impact.

A total of 270,000 barrels a day of diesel will be taken out of the market as a result of electric buses, primarily in China, by the end of the 2019, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Electric buses have more of an impact than electric vehicles on diesel usage because of their size and constant use, the report says.

Although electric vehicles still play a role in reducing oil usage, this study indicates it will be worth it to invest in sustainable public transportation systems around the world, including the United States. According to a December 2017 Reuters article, only 300 of the more than 65,000 public buses in the US are electric.

Transportation makes up 29% of greenhouse gas emissions in the US, according to the Federal Transit Administration. An increase in sustainable public transportation could help reduce this number, although likely not to the same degree as in China due to massive population differences.

However, nearly half of Americans do not have access to public transportation, says the American Public Transportation Association. Not only should public transportation be made green, it also clearly needs to be expanded and made accessible to more people.

Even if public transportation isn’t entirely electric, giving more people access to it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions because there will be fewer vehicles on the road.

Going fully electric isn’t the only way to cut greenhouse gas emissions.