Streamlined Electric Vans
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TWO electric vehicles of unusual design have recently been put into service by the West Ham Electricity Department, of tvhich Mr. J. W. J. Townley, A.M.I.E.E, is the engineer and manager. Whilst the main purpose of the vehicles is to provide speedy and economical transport of materials and workmen in connection with a hiring scheme for electrical appa.ratus, they also provide an advertisement for battery traction and electricity in general. With the latter purpose in view, the department decided to get away from the conventional form and design a streamlined body, which was built by Tomlinson (Marylebone), Ltd., High Street, London, W.1, with a flexible shutter in place of the usual door.
The capacity of each van is 5-7 cwt., and it has accommodation for three standard electric cookers and a full complement of spares for electrical ap pliances. A seat for two men is available inside the body, in addition to the space for a second man alongside the driver. This additional accommodation h a s been arranged to assist quick servicing.
The chassis is a standard product of Partridge Wilson, Ltd., Leicester, and is equipped with a 24-cell D.P. Kathanode battery, giving a normal range of about 50 miles (ample for a day's servicing) and a speed of about 20 m.p.h. The Metropolitan-Vickers motor is of 3* b.h.p.
Speed control is effected by a preselector arm on the steering column, this giving three forward and two reverse speeds. Four-wheel brakes, arranged for hand and foot control, are provided. The charging arrangements permit of the vehicles being left on charge during the night, unattended. The special Sangamo ampere-hour meter fitted on each van operates a switch which cuts off the current when the vehicle is fully charged. It also records the state of discharge of the battery.
Current for charging purposes is available in the West Ham district at 0.66d. per unit,