The Industry in Central Europe.
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Servia to Spend £400,000 on Military Lorries. The Dutch and Belgian Trials.
By Our Own Correspondent in Berlin.
Belgian Commercial Trials.
The Royal Motor Chili of Belgium announces an international competition for freight automobiles in the course ot the current twelvemonth, some years having elapsed since analogous trials were held in Belgium. It is to be hoped that the project will not, fizzle out like that announced by the Ostend Motor Club in 1912.
Lorries Wanted for Servian W.O.
We learn that the Servian Ministry of War is sending a military commission to the various automobile-producing countries of Europe for the purpose of selecting a type of lorry answering the requirements of the Servian army. After selection, it will be necessary that deliveries should materialize as speedily as possible. A credit of Z100,000 has been voted for the purchases of this commission, which will probably have begun their journey when this note appears.
Improvements in Berlin Buses. The Berlin_ General Omnibus Co. pays 8 per cent, (7 per cent. for 1911) on the last year's working, the plus balance having been 2,900,000 marks. Increased receipts were mainly due to the extension of mechanical propulsion., but also, in no small measure, to the improvement of the rolling stock as delivered from the makers, and to the company's increasing practice of turning out spares in its own enlarged shops. Thanks to the directors, long contracts for the supply of petrol were secured at comparatively cheap rates in 1912.
The Dutch Commercial Trials.
The Dutch commercial trials, restricted to automobiles made or represented in Holland, are open to four classes, as follow : 1000-2000 kilos. useful load ; 2000-3000 kilos. useful load ; 3000-4000 kilos. useful load ; and more than 4000 kilos. useful load, It is proposed to base awards on a formula in which fuel, lubricant and cost of the former. all multiplied together, are divided by the distance covered multiplied by the useful load. Minimum and maximum speeds are fixed for the several classes. Apropos these trials, which begin on 14th April, we take the opportunity of pointing out that, according to a report by the Belgian Consul at Batavia, a considerable increase in the export of freight automobiles to the Dutch Indies may be expected in the near future, mainly for transport work in .connection with tea plantations.
State Motorlines for Saxony.
The Saxon Government contemplates creating a network of State motorlines within the kingdom, provided the necessary financial support, in the form of an extraordinary credit, be voted by Parliament. The general suceess of the carefully-managed State and semi-State motorbus lines in Bavaria, as supplementary to and, here and there, in total substitution of the railway system, has weighed with the Saxon Government in framing the project.
A German Electric Motorvan for Removing Street Refuse.
I notice that the Torptdo Motor Co., of Hampstead Road, have taken up the British agency for the Elektromobil-Fabrik Gebharcit and Harhorn, whose smart little vehicles, marketed as the " Gehas," are rapidly rising in favour throughout the Berlin district for light transport of various kinds. [In our issue for the 6th of March we published an interview with Messrs. Faulks and Sons, dairymen, of Jermyn Street, London, W., who are using several of these electric parcelcars.—En.
The mechanical expert of this concern is Herr Harltorn, a comparatively young electrical engineer, who, several years ago, exhibited, at a Berlin Motor Show, a modest electric tricar for two persons, which is really the prototype of the electromobil made by the second German company which the Torpedo Co. now represents.
Since that exhibition he has been working hard to produce a system of electrical propulsion that would serve for, general transport work, and, thanks to his perseverance, and thanks, perhaps. also to the present price of petrol, van-users have begun to display a less conser va,tiv e attitude towards the electromobil.
1 am sending you an illustration of a. Gebhardt-Harhorn recently acquired by a German corporation for supplementing their ordinary street-cleaning plant. It will be chiefly used, I understand, for rapidly removing horse-refuse, el hoc genus °mite, from the streets. One man is supposed to load up, drive and unload, the unloading being facilitated by an arrangement for tipping the box, which is connected with a suitable hand lever.
I will add a few words on the motor and other mechanical features :—The motor is of the hub category and is fast-running, and of the direct-current type ; it is fully' protected by casing against dust and damp. Two batteries supply the current, and are so inter-connected that the van can run with a tension of 40 or 80 volts. The switch is operated by a pedal, that. the driver may have his hands free for steering. A hand-lever serves to reverse the armature. The magnet-housing forms the wheelhub, which, with the spokes, consists of a single casting. The wheelaxle, around which the motor rotates, is rigidly attached to the wheel-bracket, and the wheel turns through the agency of intermediate gear, mounted on bearings fastened to the axle. As soon as the armature moves, it drives the intermediate gear, which, in its turn, engages with a toothed wheel on the hub ; consequently, one gets practically a direct drive. There are two independent rear-hub brakes, actuated by hand and foot respectively; the current is cut off whenever a brake comes into play. Munich, then Leipzic?
When it comes to spending money, the Saxon can give points to the Aberdonian in ultracautiousness ; consequently, I am not at all surprised to learn that the projected Leipzic motorbus company, which was to have begun operations on a biggish scale at the beginning of the year, has not yet been launched, there being still half a million marks short of the amount of capital requisite, namely, 2100,000. On the other hand, the tramc,ars are unequal to coping with the traffic, and the residents want motorbuses. Could not some British financiers take Leipzic in hand They are working the Munich buses, greatly to the mortification of patriots.
Owners and Makers of Berlins Motorcabs, Of the 2194 mechanically-propelled cabs licensed for the Berlin police-district, 1917 are petroldriven and 277 electric. As to petrol cabs, 780 are owned by as many chauffeurs, 120 owners pos seas two each, and 67 three each. Three of the largest working companies own 84, 66 and 52 respectively. Turning to the electric cabs, we find that 178 belong to a single firm, 31 vehicles being owned by as many masters. In respect of makes, an analysis gives the following results : Adler, 577; Opel, 396; N.A.G., 198; Benz, 153; Diirkopp, 135; Loeb, 58; and Progress, 52. One hundred and sixty-eight Berlin petrol cabs are foreign-made, and 35 electiomobiles. Over 200 of the electric cabs were made by the N.A.G.