Also: Can Amsterdam’s cyclists and pedestrians learn to get along? And Indonesia’s capital move concerns environmentalists.
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What We’re Following
Himalayan milestone: Roll over Tesla, meet the Safa Tempo. For a brief moment in the 1990s, Kathmandu, Nepal, was at the vanguard of the zero-emission transportation revolution, thanks to a locally manufactured three-wheeled electric vehicle called the Safa Tempo. The city had more than 600 of these battery-powered micro-buses, constituting the largest all-electric public transit fleet in the world by 2000. Owned and operated by local entrepreneurs, Safa Tempos turned one of the world’s poorest cities into a pioneer for an extraordinary new idea in green transportation—but only briefly.
After the turn of the millennium, the Safa Tempo’s homegrown manufacturing and assembly industry was forced to shut down. Fossil-fuel-powered buses swiftly retook the streets of Kathmandu, and local air quality has plummeted. But city’s electric past may be prelude: As part of Nepal’s commitment to the Paris climate agreement, the government is making a new investment in e-buses, and Kathmandu may soon be rediscovering the benefits of battery power. On CityLab: The Rise and Fall of Kathmandu’s Groundbreaking Electric Bus Industry
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What We’re Reading
Uber and Lyft take a lot more from drivers than they say, according to 14,756 fares (Jalopnik)
Do falling RV shipments signal a recession? (Curbed)
Why do e-bikes catch fire? (Bicycling)
Bernie Sanders takes on Facebook and Google for destroying local media (Recode)
The first Amazon employees have barely arrived in Northern Virginia, but the real estate frenzy has begun (Washington Post)