The oil industry needn’t be too concerned, for now, about how Tesla Inc.’s electric cars are denting demand. China and its bus fleet could be more of a worry.
By the end of this year, a cumulative 270,000 barrels a day of diesel demand will have been displaced by electric buses, most of it in China, according to a report published last week by BloombergNEF. That’s more than three times the displacement by all the world’s passenger electric vehicles (a market where Tesla has a share of about 12 percent.).
Despite rapid growth, the impact on the oil market from electric vehicles remains relatively small. Collectively, buses and electric vehicles account for about 3 percent of oil demand growth since 2011, and 0.3 percent of current global consumption, according to BloombergNEF figures and data from the International Energy Agency.