Plentiful Praise for the Battery-electric
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At the Electric Vehicle Exhibition at Gateshead, Last Week, Much Appreciation of the Battery-electric was Expressed and Its Future was Viewed with Optimism
ELECTRICITY played an important part in modern people's lives, not only in the household but outside, and to a great extent in motoring facilities, said Sir John Maxwell, C.M.G., Northern Licensing Authority, at the inaugural luncheon of the Electric Vehicle Exhibition, which took place on the Team Valley Trading Estate (Gateshead) last week. Half a million goods vehicles were • on the roads to-day, he said, and according to The Commercial Motor, only 4,725 of these were electric powered, which was less than one per cent.
Quoting from The Commercial Motor. Sir John said a leader referred to the interest that journal had always taken in electric vehicles, which it thought had a considerable future, and this sentiment he thoroughly endorsed. In his official position, a principal duty recently related to emergency provision for transport; the supply of petrol would be seriously curtailed in the event of hostilities and with electricity as a home product, the electric machine would have a great advantage.
Possible, improvements in the construction of electric vehicles were suggested in the course of an address by Mr. A. E. Bailey (Provincial Laundries, Newcastle-on-Tyne), who said that in view of the low body-mounting the need for some central lubrication system seemed to be indicated His drivers said the electric was apt to be cold in winter and he suggested (amid laughter) that some form of electric radiator should be provided, Against these disadvantages were the facts that the electric was easy and quick to clean, there was no trouble in starting up in bad weather, whilst the restricted range tended to make drivers organise their rounds thoroughly and cut out any unnecessary calls. As launderers, his company sold cleanliness, and the electric vehicle helped it to do so.
After referring to the savings as compared with petrol vans, Mr. Bailey went on to say that the petrol vehicles were depreciated over five years. whilst electric vehicles were depreciated over nine years and batteries over three years.
The battery-electric competed mostly with horses and he did not consider it a really serious rival to the petrol Of oil-engined vehicle, said Councillor F. C. Pette (Middlesbrough Co-operative Society, Ltd.). To his mind it was a matter of importance in peace time, as well as in any emergency for they . lived in an area where electric transport would help in giving work to the miners. Moreover, the electric vehicle was an all-British product and essentially suitable for retail delivery of most classes.
So far as they were concerned in A36 Middlesbrough, vehicles were making 200 stops and starts a day and as a rule were using batteries to only 75 per cent, of their capacity. A valuable feature of the present-day machine was the fact that the driver had visual warning of the state of his power reserve. Their average daily cost for charging, in Middlesbrough, was 8.72d. whilst other costs, including battery depreciation, amounted to 2s. 5d. per day.
When they wanted a short boost in the middle of the day—a decided help in ensuring a good range—it could be obtained at a favourable rate and they could be sure of good service from the electricity supply authorities generally, said Major A. Trundle (chairman, Electric Vehicle Association).
Considerable interest was attracted by the exhibition of the new Wilson Spaniel 8-9-cwt. vehicle. Holland Coachcraft, Ltd., a neighbouring factory on the Team Valley Trading Estate, was responsible for the neat body fitted on another Wilson Electric exhibit. A special demonstration of the ventilated motor for the 18-22-cwt.
chassis, was found in the Metrovick display which also included an 18-22cwt. chassis, a 7-9-cwt. van and an 18-22-cwt. model with an open-sided dairy body.
Associated Electric Vehicle Manufacturers, Ltd., showed a Morrison van and a 3-ton Electricar chassis, whilst a Tomlinson electrically assisted pedestrian truck and chassis were shown by Electric Vans, Ltd. The Tomlinson chassis sells at prices from £59 10s. or, complete with bodywork, from £79 10s.; the yearly tax is £2 and insurance is only 35s. It is stated that the cost of current is lid. per day and the speed 3-31 1n.p.h. Among other items on show were a Cleco van and a Westinghouse battery charger with a metal rectifier. Various items of electric equipment were demonstrated by the North Eastern Electric Supply Co,, Ltd.
Another exhibition of a similar nature is to be staged at the Spa Road Electricity Department, Bolton, on June 13-14 and a further show is due to be held at Chester on dates to he fixed.