More new battery-electrics
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AUTOMATIC IMMOBILIZER AND A RANGE-BOOSTER EXHIBITED By A. J. P. WILDING, AMIMechE, M1RTE ONLY three makers of electric vehicles are exhibiting at this year's Royal Dairy Show which opened at Olympia, London, on Tuesday. These are Smith's Electric Vehicles Ltd., Austin Crompton Parkinson Electric Vehicles Ltd., and W. and E. Vehicles. Smith's and Austin Crompton Parkinson arc again showing the new models introduced at the Commercial Motor Show but the latter company is showing yet another new Morrison Electricar model—a three-wheeler but of completely different design from that introduced at the Commercial Show—while W. and E. Vehicles has introduced a four-wheel model with a load capacity of 2.5 tons.
The new W. and E. model is the Freightleader, the company going from threeto four-wheelers because it feels that the practical weight limit with the former layout has been reached with its Major 30 cwt. model.
At the same time the company has tried to incorporate into the Freightleader the main features of three-wheelers—small turning circles, mobility and easy access to the driving position. The front axle is set well back and the wheelbase is 7 ft. 9 in.; tyres fitted are 6.50-16 all round, with twins at the rear, and to get the 30 ft. kerb-to-kerb turning circle aimed for, the front springs are mounted inboard of the frame side-members (the rears are on brackets on the outside) and the steering drag link is located inside the frame also.
Standard control is series resistance but the chassis shown by W. and E. has thyristor control, which is an option and gives progressive acceleration and trouble-free life. W. and E. will be offering three models, one with a maximum speed of 14 m.p.h. for door-to-door delivery, one with 17 m.p.h. for outer-zone work and one with 20 m.p.h. For work such as bakery rounds and for replacing i.c.-engined vehicles. Each has a working range of 30 to 40 miles.
The new Morrison Electricar 3K2 threewheeler is similar in layout to the 3F11 introduced at Earls Court but the body is completely new. Load capacity is 26/28 cwt. as against 25/30 cwt. for the 3F11. Instead of the Scammell front wheel and suspension unit used on the 3F11 the suspension unit is newly designed and mounted on a turntable which is rotated by a chain going around the periphery of the outer ring driven by a sprocket at the end of the steering shaft.
The platform of the 3K2 will take 20 crates per tier and if the four sections in the grocery cupboard are not required some of them can be used for crates—the Show model has two sections each carrying two crates.
The new Morrison Electricar has a removable panel below the grocery compartments giving access to all the electrical connections and so on that require attention. A straightforward series-resistance controller is used but the model has a new foot switch which is claimed to be capable of 100,000,000 operations (or a 25-year period) without attention. Wheels are 6.00-16 all round.
An important feature of the exhibit is an electronic device which automatically immobilizes the vehicle when the driver is out of the cab. This is still in the development stage and the main part is a small transmitter which the driver carries in his pocket. This sends a signal to a transformer which operates a microswitch closing the main traction circuit and allows the vehicle to be driven. When the transmitter is out of range by a matter of 6 in. or so the main circuit is inoperative.
Another interesting piece of equipment fitted to the 3K2 is an engine-generator booster set. This is available on any Morrison Electricar model and similar equipment is also displayed by W. and E. It consists of a generator driven by a small internal combustion engine, the unit being made by G. and M. Power Plant Co. Ltd., of Ipswich, operating from a liquid petroleum gas source carried on the vehicle. The unit is intended for electric vehicles operating on "fringe" rounds where it is necessary to increase the normal speed and/or miles per charge above the accepted limits of electric trucks. The fitting of the engine/generator set enables the range of the vehicle to be extended considerably and its speed to be increased if necessary.