US plug-in vehicles saved over a billion litres of petrol in 2018

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Words: Nile Bijoux
15 May 2019

Plug-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles in the United States are saving massive amounts of petrol, says the US Department of Energy.

In 2018, some 323 million gallons (1.22 billion litres) of petrol was saved thanks to plug-in vehicles, about 42 per cent more than it was in 2017 and twice as much as in 2016.

The split between EVs and PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) was roughly even in 2012 and 2013 but 2018 saw EVs become responsible for nearly two-thirds of petrol savings.

Globally, plug-in electric vehicles are saving more oil than ever, with 2018’s tally around 14 times higher than five years earlier, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report. The same report estimates approximately 2.7 million electric vehicles will be sold in 2019, a 50 per cent rise on 2018. However, total oil demand since 2011 has grown by 12 million BPD (barrels per day) to approximately 100 million BPD, according to the International Energy Agency.

The BNEF report reckons that EVs could save as much as 6.4 million BPD of demand by 2040, while fuel efficiency improvements could knock off a further 7.5 million BPD.

Interestingly, more than 75 per cent of the savings to date are due to the electrification of buses, with around 500 BPD of diesel demand removed for every 1000 electric buses on the road. By comparison, it would take 30,000 mid-sized EV passenger cars to save the same amount.

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