From Coal Delivery Truck to Hire Car
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CLA1M1NG to be the first concern in the country to run battery-driven hire cars, the Premier Ignition Co., of Levenshulrne, Manchester, has two such machines busily employed in carrying private parties. The first of these electric taxis began operations in December, 1947, and during a period of 19 weeks satisfactorily completed 222 jobs.
Some years ago the Premier ignition Co., in its capacity of distributor, sold a number of electric vehicles to Lancashire Associated Collieries, Ltd., for retail delivery work, but recently has purchased two of the machines back from the National Coal Board.
The first to be converted to passenger use was one which was originally acquired in March, 1940, by Mr. Denis Pilkington, then transport manager for Lancashire Associated Collieries, Ltd. A Midland Electric 1-tonner, it started life as a platform lorry. Now it has been stripped down and rebuilt with an eight-seater rear-entrance shootingbrake body, which is well suited to private-party work.
Mileage out and home is limited to 40, but this has been found to provide the necessary scope for carrying teams and supporters to golf, football and snooker matches and similar occasions. The restricted top speed has also not been a disadvantage.
Recharging facilities are available at the operator's garage and the batteries are always plugged in immediately on return from a trip. Jobs have frequentlybeen carried out in particularly hilly districts near Manchester, but the cars have always operated satisfactorily, even with a full load of passengers and quantities of luggage.
The second machine to be put on the road by the Premier Ignition Co. is a Midland Electric Model B. of 25-cwt. rating, which incorporates a high-ratio axle and is equipped with radio for the passengers' use.