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those, the larger class, who used their carriages during the day and evening and had them charged at night. Most of the charging was done from eleven o'clock on till morning. At Newport, R. I., the contract with the lighting company stipulated that no current for charging should be used between six and eleven o'clock p. m., but without such a clause 90 per cent of the charging would have been done after midnight.
I visited recently at Toledo a very fine electric garage and watched the conditions there with this in mind. Very few carriages were on charge through the early evening; the bulk of them were put on charge after ten o'clock and many not until after midnight. Those that were kept at home were charged during the day, or if night charging was done they
were, for the most part, put on from ten o'clock on. This is not a guess, but the statement is made from knowledge of the facts.
Thus without contract the charging is mainly done off the peak, but if contracts are desired, they can be made with little objection. Some central stations have written me that they found the moral obligations of a contract sufficient, but time switches can be used if absolutely necessary. The Edison Illuminating Company of Detroit, Mich., furnishes current to private users of electric automobiles at five cents per kilowatthour less 10 per cent discount. To public garages they make a rate of three cents, in accordance with their order form. In both cases they make the stipulation that charging shall not be done
during the time of the evening peak. They liave no way (except occasional inspection) of telling how this stipulation is lived up to, but they believe, on the basis of such stipulation as they make, that it is fairly well observed.
There has been, it is true, a marked change on the part of some central stations toward electric vehicles. The New York Edison Company, in its latest Bulletin, states that it has in constant use for business purposes 57 electric vehicles, and that in the heavy snowfall of February 5 its electric wagons had no trouble in getting around at their customary rates of speed with the usual loads, the only difference being a greater expenditure of current.
The electric light company at Hartford has for years used electric vehicles and has run its own garage as it would its own stable.
The Union Electric Light and Power Company, St. Louis, Mo., after a period of lethargy, vigorously began a campaign to encourage the use of electric automobiles. Up to a year ago only a few electric carriages were used in that city, where stree: conditions are almost ideal. A good, live agent began pushing the sale of electric carriages, when the light company saw its opportunity and rendered much assistance. This company now advertises on signs, which are illuminated at night, for the public to use electric automobiles. It has opened a garage in the residence district for electrical-automobile service only, has an expert battery man, and is prepared to renew batteries. Its charges, I understand, are $30 to $35 per month, which includes storing, washing and delivering. It has taken the agency for one or two makes of electric carriages, and reports indicate that it is making a satisfactory number of sales. As a result, every leading electric automobile manufacturer is represented in St. Louis, and the sale of electric automobiles is booming
Similar reports come from other localities in which local manufacturers of electric current have openly shown their interest toward encouraging the sale of electric wagons. The Edison Company, Rockford, III., has successfully handled this part of its business for the past two or three years. In that city very few electric wagons are kept in public garages, but in private garages in the residence district. The last report showed that 75 electric wagons were cared for in this way by the owners; in one instance a woman 74 years old is caring for her own carriage. A clerk in the office of that company notifies the owners of the carriages to have the batteries examined at special dates. The company's electrician makes the examination, not only of the battery but of other parts of the carriage, and thus is the officiai doctor for any electric automobile in that city that the owner desires to bring there. It also has a shed adjoining the plant in which owners may charge carriages when desired, paying only for the current consumed.
Some of the other light and power companies that to my knowledge have been instrumental in having electric automobiles sold in their territory are the following:
The Freeport Street Railway and Power Company, Free
Birmingham Railway, Light and Power Company, Birmingham, Ala.
Little Rock Street Railway, Light and Power Company, Little Rock, Ark.
Springfield Light and Power Company, Springfield, Mo.
Michigan City Light and Power Company, Michigan City, Ind.
South Shore Gas and Electric Company, Hammond, Ind.
The Birmingham Railway, Light and Power Company set an example by using, whenever possible, in the conduct of its business electric automobiles instead of any other type. I understand it has several small errand and repair wagons, also some large trucks; the result has been a gradual but sure increase of the demand for electric carriages in that city.
Still other central stations are being awakened to the opportunity before them. A plan is on foot at the present time, to be applied to at least a half dozen central stations in New England, whereby the lighting companies will circularize the physicians in their respective cities, notifying them that they are prepared to give them a practical demonstration of the utility of the electric vehicle in the practitioners' service and are prepared to place at their disposal an electric vehicle with driver to take them over their day's route of visits to patients; this to cover a period of half a day, or even a whole day if necessary, so that they may be satisfied of the practicability of the outfit as applied to their own use.
While the electric light companies referred to intend to start a systematic crusade among the physicians, they are not losing sight of such other applications of the electric vehicle as are called for in family use--delivery wagons, motor trucks, and so forth. Their system of working up business for the sale of current is the best possible one that could be adopted, and activity in this direction is the best indication of the increased popularity of electric vehicle service. Business of this kind increases the load on the power station when it can be furnished to the best advantage. This scheme of practical demonstrations, I learn, is also being put in practice by the lighting company in one of our largest western cities, where five solicitors are at work on auto's alone, in addition to the demonstrators. In this instance the demonstrators are ladies, and they have three electric carriages for demonstrating on the street all the time.
There can be no question about the permanency of the electrical-automobile business. Where electric automobiles have been sold and properly cared for the demand for them has steadily increased; where they have not been properly cared for the quantity of new sales has suffered. The fact, however, that the proportion of sales this year is greater than heretofore in cities where wagons have been used for several years and have received good treatment, is an effective argument in favor of their permanency.
Electric vehicle manufacturers have recently formed an association of great influence, comprising not only the manufacturers of electric automobiles themselves, but an associate membership which includes the leading electrical manufacturers of the country, such as the General Electric Company, Westinghouse, and others. This association has been formed, not with any idea of exclusion or on a patent basis, but solely for the purpose of furthering the use of electric vehicles, and is significant of the claim that electric carriages are becoming more and more used. As a consequence, the amount of current sold to operate them is largely increased.