Opinions from Others.
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Electric Vehicle Costs.
The Editor, THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR.
 Sir,—In "What Users Tell Us," published in your issue for the 27th May, you give in detail the actual cost of current per mile for several of the Edison electric vehicles in the service of J. Lyons and Co.
On turning up an Edison catalogue, I find that the estimated costs therein are actually higher than those you publish.
For instance, for two 2-ton vehicles the average cost of current per mile was .73d. The Edison figure for vehicles of a similar type is 1.20d. per vehicle-mile.
Then, again, for the 5-foriner belonging to Lyons, the cost of current was 1.3d. per vehicle-mile. For a vehicle of this capacity, the Edison figure works out at 2.4d. per mile.
The Edison figures above are stated in their catalogue to present an average estimate of the cost of operating electric vehicles in London service and on good. road surfaces, and I notice that, according to your article, the Lyons vehicles are used for this class of work. How do 'you account for these variations in costs 1—Yours faithfully, " ELEcTalcusEn.”
[Our correspondent may care to know that the published costs, from Messrs. Lyons, are charged at 0.75d. per B.T.U. They are very satisfactory. They concern London carriageways and gradients. It 1s proof of a margin in some cases for the Edison averages.—En.] Should Passenger Traffic Bear a Tax If Goods Traffic is Exempt ?
The Editor, THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR.
 Sir,—You suggest the possibility of recovery of a tax on passenger motors by shortening the lengths of the stages. I should like to point out that this is hardly a practical matter. Stage points, as you will be aware, are places such as Liverpool Street, the Bank, and Oxford Circus. One cannot change these stage points or any other. For instance, one could not change the fare stage which now exists between Marble Arch and Oxford Circus. Apart from changing the fare stages as suggested by you, one cannot very well charge such an enormous increase as id., whereas 1d. was previously charged. People would not pay this. Then, again, we have to bear in mind the several forms of competition, such as tramways and railways, which, I may say as a general rule, control the fares which can be obtained.
You suggest, if such a tax is agreed, it must only be in return fqr a definite quid pro quo in respect of release from claims for extraordinary-traffic damage, but I believe it is a fact that no such claims have yet been able to be enforced.—Yours faithfully,
Lowestoft. E. B. HUTCHINSON.
[We understood that the point which you took concerned country services; our view, in regard to shortening stages, referred to them more particularly, In London' however, it has been found practicable to alter stages, even such general stages as those which you mention having been varied within our recollection during the past six years. Some claims for extraordinary-traffic damage have been enforced, and many others are held in abeyance by reason of the pending Departmental and Parliamentary inquiries._En.] Rating of Commercial Vehicle Chassis.
The Editor, Tits COMMERCIAL MOTOR.
 Sir,—May I draw your attention to what, to my mind, is a serious state of confusion existing with regard to the rating of commercial vehicles? There has always been a certain amount of difficulty for the prospective purchaser to face when he has endeavoured to choose a new chassis, and if he relies upon catalogue denominations of the various chassis as indication of capacity for useful load. This in the past has generally been due to the fact that, whereas some makers when stating load capacity include for the weight of the body, fittings and driver—in other words they refer to the gross load which the chassis will carry—other manufacturers state the net load ; that is to say, they presumably design the Chassis to. carry a certain load, deduct from that the average estimated weight for the body, etc., leaving as a balance what the Americans term the "paying load."
Of late these difficulties have shown a tendency to increase rather than otherwise. Several lorry makers, most of them, it is true, new-comers to he trade, but including in their ranks, I regret to say, several long-established • traders, are reverting in regard to their load-ratings to the practice which you have for so long deprecated when dealing with engine power. Whereas the engine builder is gradually ceasing to give what may be called an upper.and lower value for the h.p. of his product, the chassis maker is beginning to adopt a similar plan in stating the load-carrying power of his. If there were objections to the former practice, surely they are multiplied in the latter.
What in the name of goodness is a 30-50 cwt. chassis ?
Is it a 30 cwt. which it is hoped will carry 50, or is it a 50 cwt. chassis, and is the 30 cwt. mentioned so as to reassure the buyer that the machine will run just as well lightly loaded as fully loaded?
There is another disturbing factor which, however, will probably prove to be only a temporary one and which is due probably to the influx of lorries from the U.S.A. I believe the American manufacturer has already grappled with the problem I refer to, and that all American chassis are definitely rated in accordance with their paying load. Unfortunately the American ton is only 2000 lb., and, when buying an American chassis, it is necessary to bear in mind that what is described as a 4-tonner is really only a 31,-ton chassis.
Surely it would be possible at this time of day for makers to agree upon some one definite method of describing their various models. It seems to me that the best way is to ascribe to the chassis its full capability in the way of body plus load. There will then be no possible chance of the trader straining his machine by fitting it with a body considerably over the average weight upon which the manufacturer has based his calculations. At the same time, such a designation would have the advantage of positively drawing the users' attention to the fact that every additional pound of bodywork is so much dead weight and needs so much additional horse power, fuel and so on to carry it about the country.—Yours faithfully,
[Our views on this subieet agree very closely with those of the writer of the above, We have frequently given expression to them.—En.]