What Happened To The Electric Bus?

<p>With interest in alternative vehicles growing, a historical look at the fate of one electric bus company 100 years ago.</p>
July 12, 2007, 7am PDT | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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"On Monday July 15th 1907 an unusual bus picked up its first passengers at London's Victoria Station before gliding smoothly off to Liverpool Street. It was the beginning of what was then the world's biggest trial of battery-powered buses. The London Electrobus Company had high hopes that this quiet and fume-free form of transport would replace the horse. At its peak, the company had a fleet of 20 buses. But despite being popular with passengers the service collapsed in 1909. The history books imply that the collapse was caused by technical drawbacks and a price war. It was not. The untold story is that the collapse was caused by systematic fraud that set back the cause of battery buses by a hundred years."

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Published on Wednesday, July 11, 2007 in The Economist
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