Diesel demand down as electric buses gain foothold

Record electric bus deliveries impacting diesel market

diesel school bus refueling

We’re still probably years, maybe decades away from any complete switch away from diesel in the road freight industry (unless batteries suddenly become a whole lot lighter!).

But few would argue that electric propulsion isn’t ideal for some applications, suburban refuse collection and inner-city deliveries being the first operations that come to mind.

Related: UD Trucks commits to electric and autonomous future

But it’s city buses were electric-drive technology is kicking the most goals at this point in time.

Now there are reports the switch over to electricity by a growing percentage of the world’s bus operators is actually being felt in the diesel market.

About 99% of the 385,000 electric buses on duty across the globe are plying their trade on Chinese streets.

Every five weeks, Chinese cities add 9,500 electric buses to their national bus fleet, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

And this is leading to a reduction in demand for diesel.

Bloomberg estimates that for every 1,000 battery-powered buses on the road, about 500 barrels a day of diesel fuel will be displaced from the market.

“This segment is approaching the tipping point,” said Colin Mckerracher, head of advanced transport at Bloomberg.

“City governments all over the world are being taken to task over poor urban air quality. This pressure isn’t going away, and electric bus sales are positioned to benefit.”

Related: Big jump in electric bus use tipped for China

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