Source: Barrel Blog | Bob Williams | May 15, 2017
Anyone looking for clues as to the direction of global oil demand would be well advised to count the number of electric bicycles dodging traffic in China’s streets.
It was once held that if all of the hundreds of millions of Chinese bicycle riders were to buy a car, oil demand there would jump by—pick a big number—xx%. But rather than abandoning bicycles for cars, many Chinese just upgraded to electric bicycles.
By 2013, the number of electric bikes on the road there had experienced a thousand-fold increase in 15 years; roughly 200 million are now in use in China, a number expected to reach 250 million by decade’s end. Cost is a factor, as is Chinese cities’ terrible smog. But the biggest factor seems to be convenience—more easily navigating the gridlock in China’s big cities.
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