Does Pic Show an Early 1900s Charging Station for Electric Buses?

Does Pic Present an Early 1900s Charging Station for Electrical Buses?


A photograph from the early 1900s reveals a charging station for an electrical bus.


A photograph usually shared on social media purportedly reveals an electrical bus driving right into a “charging and energy station” within the early 1900s. 

The image reveals an genuine bus charging station operated by the London Electrobus Firm throughout that firm’s brief existence between 1906 and 1909. A model of this photograph seems within the Getty Photographs archives. 

As reported by The Economist in 2007, these charging stations weren’t plug-in stations as we all know them immediately, however as an alternative have been services during which previous batteries have been swapped for contemporary ones: 

The electrobus wanted 1.5 tonnes of lead-acid batteries to hold its 34 passengers. It might journey 60km (38 miles) on one cost. So at lunchtime the buses went to a storage in Victoria and drove up a ramp. The batteries, slung below the electrobus, have been lowered onto a trolley and changed with contemporary ones. All of it took three minutes.  

An advert for the corporate indicated that that they had two charging and energy stations for electrical buses positioned at 1 Earl Road and 45 Horseferry Street in London. Right here is one other close-up photograph of 1 such “electrobus” from 1907:

By a number of studies, the buses have been successful, because of their diminished noise and smoother trip. In debuting their first bus in 1906, the administrators of the corporate stated that they “confidently anticipate that the petrol omnibus, younger as it’s, will shortly be an out of date automobile, as far as city site visitors is anxious.” 

It was to not be. The corporate was beset by allegations of fraud throughout its effort to go public on the London Inventory Change in 1908. As described in The Economist, the corporate had been duped by a workforce of con artists:

The agency was shopping for rights to a patent for £20,000 (£7.5m, or $15m, in immediately’s cash) from the Baron de Martigny. However the patent was previous and had nothing to do with battery buses. It was a rip-off. Buyers requested for his or her a reimbursement, and the agency needed to return £80,000. The traders would have been even much less impressed had they recognized the true id of the “Baron”, who was a Canadian music-hall artist.

Martigny was solely the entrance man. The mastermind behind this and a clutch of subsequent scams was Edward Lehwess, a German lawyer and serial con-artist with a style for quick automobiles and costly champagne. After this preliminary fiasco, the London Electrobus Firm struggled to lift cash. However Lehwess had arrange a community of entrance firms to siphon off its funds. Chief amongst these was the Electrical Automobile Firm of West Norwood, which constructed the buses.

The corporate collapsed solely in 1909. As a result of, nonetheless, the photograph is in a number of archives and the buses and their charging stations are documented in newspaper accounts from that point, the declare is “True.”


“Electrobus Makes Debut on Streets of London.” The San Francisco Name, 27 Might 1906, p. 19.,

“How Crooks Stalled the Rise of Electrical Automobiles for 100 Years.” New Scientist, Accessed 7 Mar. 2023.

“The London Electrobus Firm Restricted.” The Guardian, 27 Apr. 1908, p. 9.,

“What Is This That Roareth Thus?” The Economist, Accessed 7 Mar. 2023.

Author: ZeroToHero

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