Geneva Show 19xx Compton-Leyland Electricar


Gentlemen. British Leyland scored a triumph with the sensational staging of its car exhibits at the recent motor show in this Swiss capital. And when the visitors had finished being stunned by the star-spangled spectacle they discovered a tremendously interesting range, including an electric car built for research into the ultimate answer for a pollution-free vehicle.

The tiny two-seater, based on standard components from the Mini, but with a special body designed by Michelotti, was one of the major features of an anti-pollution exhibition.

Powered by 24v lead-acid battery cells operating through two 3.5 h.p. motors the car has a maximum speed of 33 m.p.h.(53 m.p.h.) and a range of up to 40 miles (64 km.) depending on gradients and driving conditions.

It is equipped with a built-in charger which can be plugged into any normal household electric power supply to re-charge the batteries. Running costs are less than half a penny a mile.

The vehicle has been built purely for research purposes. Its low speed and limited range-factors dictated solely by the weight and low output of lead-acid batteries, do not make it a viable vehicle for commercial sale.

Despite its small size, the electric car is one third as heavy again as a Mini, all the extra weight being in the batteries which are stored in the engine compartment and behind the seats.

The electric car is as easy to drive as an automatic. There are no gears, and therefore no clutch. It accelerates smoothly through the use of a ‘carbon stack’ controller. Initial depression of the accelerator provides economical half-speed, and when the pedal is depressed again, the car moves up to its top speed.