' A Quiet revolution against Big Oil.' Tiny electric vehicles shift away from fossil fuels faster than cars in many, many countries.

Big Oil faces a tiny foe on the streets of Asia and Africa. The noisy, noxious vehicles that run on two and three wheels, carrying billions of people daily, are quietly going electric - in turn knocking down oil demands by one million barrels a day this year.

IN KENYA AND RWANDA, dozens of start-ups are vying to replace oil guzzling motorcycles and taxis with battery-powered ones.

IN INDIA, more than half of all new three-wheeled vehicles sold and registered this year were battery operated.

INDONESIA AND THAILAND are also encouraging electrification of motorcycle taxis.

CHINA dominates the market, the government began promoting electric vehicles decades ago in a bid to clean its smog-choked cities, which explains why a vast majority of the world's electric two-wheelers are in China.

The shift to electric mobility overall has reduced global demand by 1.8 million barrels every day according to Bloomberg NEF, a research arm of  Michael Bloomberg's financial data and media company.

Two - and three wheelers account for 60 percent of that reduction, or 1.08 million barrels. 

Taken together, cars and smaller electric vehicles are projected to displace only 4 percent of total oil demand this year. Still, their growth is vital to the energy transition because transportation accounts for about 20 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions.

Of all the changes the world is making to slow further warming, electric vehicle sales are the only category on track to meet climate goals, according to an exhaustive independent study.

The World Students Society thanks Somini Sengupta, Abdi Latif Dahir, Alex Travelli and Clifford Krauss. 


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