London Electrobus Company

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London Electrobus Company
FoundedApril 1906
Headquarters1 Earl Street, Westminster
Service areaLondon
Service typeBus services

The London Electrobus Company, was a bus operator that ran a fleet of electric buses in London.[1] The electrobus was the first practical battery-electric bus and a forerunner of the electric buses that are experiencing a major resurgence in the 21st century.[2]

The company, which was first registered in April 1906, started running a service of electrobuses between London's Victoria Station and Liverpool Street on 15 July 1907.[3] The clean and quiet electrobuses were popular with the travelling public.[4] The company introduced a number of innovations and it was the first double-decker bus operator to experiment with a roof on the upper deck.[5] At the peak of its success in late 1908 the company had 20 or so buses in operation[6][7] and it started to run a second bus route from Victoria to Kilburn.

However, the London Electrobus Company was beset by financial chicanery throughout its short existence.[5] By 3 January 1910 the electrobus service had ceased and the company went into liquidation amid accusations of fraud.[8] Eight of the electrobuses were sold to the Brighton, Hove and Preston United company.[9] The rest of the London electrobuses were broken up for spares. The Brighton bus company was taken over by Thomas Tilling in 1916[10] and the last electrobus in Brighton ran in April 1917. Tilling said that a lack of spare parts had forced it to stop running electrobuses.[8]

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  1. ^ "London Electrobus Co - Graces Guide". Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  2. ^ "All Aboard". New Scientist: 35–37. 9 September 2017.
  3. ^ "What is this that roareth thus". The Economist Technology Quarterly: 9. 8 September 2007.
  4. ^ Google Books - New Scientist, 17 July 1986
  5. ^ a b The Fraud that Killed Off London’s First Electric Buses - Ian Mansfield, 9 January 2014
  6. ^ Georgano, Nick (1996). Electric Vehicles. Shire Publications. pp. 20–21. ISBN 9780747803164.
  7. ^ "Our Fortnightly Census". Commercial Motor: 336. 31 December 1908.
  8. ^ a b Hamer, Mick (2017). A Most Deliberate Swindle. London: RedDoor. pp. 171, 197. ISBN 9781910453421.
  9. ^ Kaye, David (1976). British Battery Electric Buses. The Oakwood Press. p. 8.
  10. ^ "Brighton and Hove Buses company history".