Popular Mechanics (South Africa) - - Contents -

In re­sponse to your ar­ti­cle re­gard­ing elec­tric ve­hi­cles, you men­tioned on page 46 that, in South Africa, the cur­rent al­lo­cated to the av­er­age house is 60 A and in Amer­ica it is 100 A (with the op­tion of up­grad­ing to 200 A).

This is mis­lead­ing, as the volt­age in South Africa is 230 volts and only 110 volts in the US. Avail­able power is mea­sured in kw, which is Volts × Amps. This means, in SA we have 230 × 60, that is 13,8 kw, and in Amer­ica you have 110 × 100, which is 11 kw (or 110 × 200 which is 22 kw). In South Africa, you can also ap­ply for 60 A three-phase power, which is equal to 41 kw.

I have been re­tired for 11 years but un­less things have changed, we have more avail­able power in our homes than the typ­i­cal Amer­i­can home. PETER SMIT, KZN

Thank you for this, Peter. We wel­come the op­por­tu­nity to learn some­thing new at POP­U­LAR ME­CHAN­ICS. Lance did a great job with the story and my own ig­no­rance left this fact unchecked, which is a shame be­cause it was also an is­sue that was rid­dled with other er­rors.

We have since en­listed the ser­vices of a copy- edit­ing team that seems to be rather good. It was a shame that we had to end the re­la­tion­ship with our pre­vi­ous proof­reader, but I can as­sure you that no fact or fig­ure will go into fu­ture is­sues with­out ques­tion.

That said, your ex­pe­ri­ence in the field is re­mark­able. It seems, to you and prob­a­bly many read­ers, like a sim­ple maths equa­tion fail. But to a lay­man with a bit of tech­ni­cal knowl­edge, there are a lot of val­ues to keep abreast of in that sum. I’m thank­ful to you and the many read­ers like you who use these op­por­tu­ni­ties to spread the knowl­edge you’ve gained over your ca­reer.

We’ve had a mas­sive brain drain in this coun­try that con­tin­ues as for­eign coun­tries lure away our best minds. There are fail­ings on the part of govern­ment in re­tain­ing these in­di­vid­u­als, but I wish that each de­part­ing brain could pass on half of what they know to the next gen­er­a­tion. That way, we could grow this coun­try in a pos­i­tive way and not keep ta­lent shack­led at the same time. – Lind­sey

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