ELECTRIC AUTOMOBILE—KRIEGER SYSTEM.
Scientific American June 8, 1901 page 357
One of the latest types of electric automobiles is the new two-place machine of the Krieger type, or "electrolette," as it is called. This is the smallest machine of this type which has been designed up to the present. In this system the front wheels turn at the end of a fixed shaft, and each is driven by a separate motor with reduction gearing, thus doing away with the differential and making a less complicated arrangement.
This machine has been designed to meet the demands for a light electric automobile and to overcome the objection that an electromobile must necessarily be heavy, on account of the weight of the accumulators, as well as costly. It has thus been necessary to design a vehicle which should be free from these objections; it should be light and easily operated, and should not require more than ordinary attention from its owner. It must also cover a considerable distance without recharging, in spite of the light weight of the vehicle, and its average speed should be somewhere near that of a petroleum auto-mobile. M. Krieger, owing to his previous experience in this direction, has succeeded in solving the problem of a light electric vehicle, and the present machine is the result. As will be seen, it is a two-place vehicle, but as the carriage body is made removable, a four-place body may be substituted, in spite of the small size of the machine. The front axle, which is fixed, is carried well in front, and at each end the wheel turns like that of an ordinary carriage. The fixed axle supports near the wheel an electric motor of 3 horse power, which is of the latest design and entirely enclosed by its circular casting and end-pieces. The pinion comes out at the side next the wheel and engages with a large gear wheel which is fixed against it. The gear and pinion are inclosed in a tight case. Thus each wheel is turned independently by its own motor, and the result is a great gain in simplicity, owing to the suppression of the differential; it is this system which has made the Krieger type one of the most successful of the electric automobiles. The truck is supported upon the front shaft by a curved spring. The whole system turns about a central pin, and is steered by the hand-wheel above, by means of a pinion and toothed sector. The accumulators are contained in a box which is fixed in the truck below the carriage body and is arranged so that it may be easily slid out from the rear. The batteries are of the Fulmen type, and have a total weight of 800 pounds, allowing a run of at least 65 miles on a single charge. The two motors, each of 3 horse power, give a total of 6 horse power for the machine, which enables it to climb heavy grades without in juring the motors. The latter are arranged so as to be accessible from above, which renders their inspection and cleaning much easier than in the ordinary type of electric vehicle. The total weight of the machine, in spite of the 800 pounds of accumulators, is only 1,700 pounds, of which the motors represent 220 pounds. The mean speed on a level grade is 21 miles an hour, or 12 to 15 miles over an average road.
The controller of the Krieger type has the advantage that the steering wheel and controller are mounted in a single device and the whole direction of the machine is brought to one point. The shaft of the steering wheel passes down through the carriage body, while surrounding it is a hollow shaft upon which is mounted the controller drum. The latter is turned about the main shaft by a handle directly under the steering wheel. The controller is formed of an insulating cylinder carrying a series of contact rings which rub against the contact spring-pieces at the side of the box. The controller may take 11 different positions, including start, slow, mean and high speeds, an extra speed, .electric brake and reverse. The electric braking action is carried out by placing the motors in short circuit, thus giving a powerful brake upon the front wheels; besides this, the rear wheels carry a band-brake.