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A u-z5-cwt, Battery-electric Added to Existing Range of Trolleybuses A BATTERY-ELECTRIC 12-15-cwt., IA vehicle was announced in The Conztnerctal Motor dated October 1 last as being a new product of Sunbeam Commercial Vehicles, Ltd., Wolverhampton. Designated "Type ?LB.," this machine has a wheelbase of 6 ft. and a platform 7 ft. 11 ins, long, which can be -extended, with no more than minor structural alterations, to 9 ft.
The electrical equipment is of B.T.H. manufacture, and resemblances 'to trolleybus practice are not far to seek. Of the ventilated type, the motor can withstand a heavy overload and is controlled by magnetic contacts which are operated merely by depressing a pedal. It is claimed that the speed can be regulated in precisely the same manner as in the case of a petrol vehicle, whilst both hands are free for steering, etc. There are only the two pedals, namely, the accelerator and the brake.
A meter on the dashboard indicates the condition of the battery, and the equipment includes a 50-amp. charging plug. When the battery has been fully charged, an automatic switch breaks the circuit.
In front of the centrally mounted motor are the resistances, with above them an asbestos shield. On each side, amidships of the chassis, outside the frame, is 'a bank of batteries. Further batteries are accommodated within the frame behind the driving axle. Provision is made for gaining access to these for ' topping-up" purposes, etc., Through trap doors, whilst, if it be desired to withdraw them, this can easily be done by sliding the central batteries outwards and the rearmounted battery backwards. The vehicle is claimed to be capable of 18 m.p.h. and weighs, without accumulators, 124 cwt. The transmission includes a double-reduction axle and a Hardy-Spicer propeller shaft. Bendix brakes are standardized.
A variety of makes of batteries is offered, namely, D.P.. Exide and Britannia. The prices vary according to the make and the size of battery and range from £278 to E330. The company is, of course, continuing the production of its range of trolleybuses.