- Sep 22, 2015
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A big plug for electric buses, but Edmonton council struggles with financial jolt and changing technology
Betamax versus VHS reared its ugly head Wednesday at City Hall in a debate about electric buses.
After a successful winter pilot project, several council members want to go big on an electric. But with technology quickly evolving, the city risks getting stuck with an outdated system if council chooses the wrong type of bus.
Transit chief Eddie Robar was a Betamax fan, Sony’s 1975 version of the videotape. Like most early adopters, he lived through that painful switch, forced to trash a better technology when VHS outsold it and forced it from the shelves.
Robar had a warning for council: “If you choose a type of vehicle and you choose wrong … that capital (investment) could be obsolete in a short period of time.”
The stakes are high. The city needs to buy 108 buses in the next two years. Whatever council chooses — diesel or one of two kinds of electric — the city will have those buses for 20 years.
Full Story (Edmonton Journal)