Today’s Pickup: Chinese electric buses are denting global oil demand

 Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

Good day,

China’s growing number of electric bus fleets are denting the country’s oil demand by 270,000 barrels a day, as pointed out by Bloomberg. This is a huge development, as the displacement caused by Chinese electric buses are three-fold higher than the total number of passenger electric vehicles (EVs) that run all across the world. One of the reasons is because buses are much larger in size compared to cars (which account for the majority of electric-powered vehicles), and thus end up displacing a lot more fuel demand than cars would. In comparison, 1,000 electric buses would reduce diesel consumption by 500 barrels, while 1,000 electric cars would only displace 15 barrels of oil demand. Though the absolute number of EVs is still meager compared to the gas-powered ones, the market is only going to grow over the years, and estimates show that by 2040, EVs would displace as much as 6.4 million barrels a day of demand.

Did you know?

Though China’s auto market has seen vehicle demand slumping amid a slowing economy and trade tensions with the U.S., the demand for luxury vehicles has increased by 8 percent to 2.82 million units last year.


“A decade ago, capital investment was leaving the U.S., and now it’s coming home in a very big way.”

– Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of consultancy at IHS Markit, on investment pouring into the U.S. for shale oil drilling operations

In other news:

How the widened Panama Canal is disrupting U.S. domestic transportation

Rail traffic is at recessionary levels year-on-year, total freight traffic has also declined in the last three months, and this appears to be an ongoing consequence of the widening of the Panama Canal that began accepting bigger ships in late 2016. (Seeking Alpha)

Ford to expand electric-vehicle production at Michigan plant

Automaker will convert Flat Rock, Mich., facility to start building plug-in models in 2023. (WSJ)

$1.3 trillion and 7,000 finance jobs are leaving Britain because of Brexit

Many banks have set up new offices in Germany, France, Ireland and other EU countries to safeguard their regional business after Brexit. (CNN)

Uber and Lyft won’t admit what they are

Uber and Lyft call themselves as technology companies and not transportation companies. But ‘technology’ is a massive category — and tech firms, especially unfocused ones, frequently go bust. (Forbes)

BMW’s future EVs could outlast the competition by 200 miles

From the motor to the factory, the automaker is rethinking everything. (Engadget)

Final thoughts:

As the D-day to Lyft’s public offering gets nearer, the company has put out the potential roadblocks that could come its way if things go down south. Regulations have made it compulsory for companies that are about to list themselves in the stock market to tabulate the different worst-case scenarios for their business. Lyft has disclosed that it was uncertain of the demand that could arise for new segments like bike and e-scooter sharing, and has also pointed out to regulatory hurdles that might be a source of risk. That said, Lyft is hoping to run fleets of driverless cars in the future, and has spent millions of dollars into developing autonomous driving technology. Then again, even that would be subject to competition has on-demand ride-hailing rival Uber, along with companies like Google and General Electric are also working hard in making self-driving cars a reality.

Hammer down everyone!

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Vishnu Rajamanickam, Staff Writer

Vishnu writes editorial commentary on cutting-edge technology within the freight industry, profiles startups, and brings in perspective from industry frontrunners and thought leaders in the freight space. In his spare time, he writes neo-noir poetry, blogs about travel & living, and loves to debate about international politics. He hopes to settle down in a village and grow his own food at some point in time. But for now, he is happy to live with his wife in the middle of a German metropolitan.

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