In May 2018 A Most Deliberate Swindle was named popular transport book of the year by the Railway and Canal Historical Society. For more details see the reviews page.
It is a hundred years since the last electrobus made its final journey from Hove to Brighton. To celebrate this centenary and the publication of A Most Deliberate Swindle, which for the first time reveals how the electrobus was killed over by a massive swindle, a group of invited guests set off from Brighton station in a modern, solar-powered, electric bus to retrace the route of the last electrobus. The electric bus was provided by the Big Lemon bus company.
The electrobus was the world’s first practical electric bus. These silent and fume-free buses ran in both London and Brighton. The London operation was killed off by a massive swindle. Fraudulent financiers looted the electrobus company’s coffers and the London bus service collapsed.
Brighton’s electrobus service ended in 1917, killed off not by a swindle but by a lack of spare parts. Now we have come full circle and the past is once again the future.
28 September 2017
How crooks stalled the rise of the electric car
Had Edwardian London’s electric buses not been run by crooks chances are that the internal combustion engine would not have dominated the 20th century, says an editorial in New Scientist, commenting on a feature article on the electrobus swindle by Mick Hamer on the publication of his forthcoming book A Most Deliberate Swindle.
“Hindsight is a wonderful thing: the bus fiasco reminds us that superior technologies don’t always win out and that the market doesn’t always make rational choices. With the development of clean energy technology at a crossroads a historical perspective on roads taken and not taken is more relevant than ever.”
New Scientist, 9 September 2017
Petrol and diesel car ban
France is to ban the sale of all new diesel and petrol cars by 2040, to help meet the country’s obligations under the Paris agreement on climate change. The announcement came the day after the car maker Volvo said it was to stop making pure diesel and petrol cars in 2019.
Norway has a target of ending the sale of diesel and petrol cars by 2025. The Netherlands and India are considering similar curbs. At the end of July the UK government announced that it was also going to ban diesel and petrol sales by 2040.
In 2016 the number of electric vehicles in the world soared to a new high of 2 million, according to figures published in June by the Paris-based International Energy Agency. In 2015 there were 1 million electric vehicles.
China is indisputably the world leader in switching to battery power. In 2016 there was 350,000 electric buses in China and according to the IEA this year the Chinese city of Shenzhen will become the first in the world to run just electric buses.