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“Horseless eCarriage” unveiled as alternative to NY horse trade

The "Horseless eCarriage".

The “Horseless eCarriage”.

An electric-powered vehicle harking back to the horseless carriages of 100 years ago has been unveiled at the New York Auto Show as a potential alternative to the horse-drawn carriage trade around Central Park.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is pressing ahead with plans to end the iconic trade because he says inner-city streets are no place for horses.

The "Horseless eCarriage" is proposed as an alternative to horse-drawn carriages in New York.

The “Horseless eCarriage” is proposed as an alternative to horse-drawn carriages in New York.

Opponents of the trade have campaigned for years to end the trade, arguing it is cruel and risky to have horses work in the city. Industry supporters argue the horses are well looked after and say the industry is a city icon.

One of the groups opposed to the horse-drawn trade, NYCLASS, used the auto show to unveil its “Horseless eCarriage” as an alternative to the horse-drawn carriages.

The electric car commissioned by the group was built by The Creative Workshop (TCW), a Florida-based specialty car manufacturer.

The prototype is an electric lithium-ion powered car that can seat eight adult passengers in the same style as a horse-drawn carriage.

NYCLASS says the vehicle blends early 20th century style, nostalgia and romance with 21st century eco-technology, comfort and safety.

The group said it met safety standards and society’s desire for clean transportation. The rear-wheel-drive, 84-horsepower vehicle has a top speed of 30mph and a range of 100 miles.

The Creative Workshop’s president and owner, Jason Wenig, said: “We’re confident the vehicle we’ve created is a worthy successor to the original brass-era horseless carriage that roamed the canyons of New York City back in the day.

“The Horseless eCarriage celebrates the style and personality of that era.”

The cars would be manufactured locally in New York, creating jobs and bringing a new industry to the city, NYCLASS said.

It is understood the prototype cost $US450,000 to build, but production on a larger scale would bring that cost down to roughly a third of that.

The Horseless eCarriage is said to be about the same size as an original touring car or depot hack of the early 20th century era.

“It’s an open design with a removable top to increase the passenger experience,” Wenig said.

“There are styling elements that underscore the design of the era – oversized windshield, large exposed wheels, period lighting and of course, brass. It definitely reflects and celebrates an era that has amazing historical significance to New York City and to car lovers everywhere.”

e-carriage2

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Comments (5)

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  1. Finola says:

    So the passengers will be exposed to the same choking exhaust fumes of the city that were claimed to be one of the problems for the horses ? One wonders…..

    • MadMarmoset says:

      FYI- They were exposed to the fumes while in the carriages as well, unless the carriages had a magic bubble around them they weren’t telling us about.

  2. ejhickey says:

    Too expensive and too underpowered.

    • MadMarmoset says:

      As opposed to the 1horsepower carriage that went maybe 20mph max if the horse spooked? This vehicle obviously isn’t meant for open road driving, just nostalgic puttering about. You were right on one count though – $450k is too expensive.

  3. Smokin says:

    Can just take a taxi ride in NYC if you want to loop the park. I think the horse drawn carriage rides are wonderful and the horses seemed well cared for. If care was an issue why didn’t NYC require better care? Now those horses are out of a job and everyone knows those horses will be dumped at the nearest auction. The horses will have days of upset and misery and end up at the slaughterhouses in mexico and Canada.

    That is really sad to remove the horses from life in NYC.

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