It looks like the days of horse-drawn carriages in New York City is slowly drawing to a end, as NYClASS recently unveiled its Horseless eCarriage prototype. The new electric powered carriage made its global debut yesterday at the New York Auto Show on Manhattan’s west side – just blocks from the stables that the Central Park horses call home.
The Horseless eCarriage is about the same size as an original touring car, and blends early twentieth century style, nostalgia, and romance with twenty-first century eco-technology, comfort and safety.
“It’s a labor of love,” says Jason Wenig, the president and owner of the Florida-based classic car restoration shop, The Creative Workshop. Wenig’s shop was commissioned to build the vehicle by NYClASS (New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets), an animal rights group that is leading the charge against the Central Park horse carriage industry. Ever since New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on the campaign trail that he would ban horse carriages during his first week in office, NYClASS has contributed over $1.3 million to make the mayor’s words become a reality, and have also invested $450,000 for the electric carriage.
The eight-passenger, fully electric prototype balances incredible visual appeal with NHTSA safety standards and society’s desire for clean transportation, according to Wenig, who also designed the lithium ion battery-powered Horseless eCarriage. The rear-wheel-drive, 84-horsepowered vehicle (with 184 ft.-lbs of torque), has a top speed of 30 mph and a range of 100 miles.“It’s an open design with a removable top to increase the passenger experience. 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,” he added.
The new Horseless e-Carriages will be a wonderful addition to the new York City landscape and make the city a leader in urban ecotourism. The vehicles will not only put an end to the exploitation of horses, but they are also non-destructive to the environment. In addition, because the fleet of vehicles will be manufactured in New York City, they will open up new jobs for local residents.
Mayor de Blasio has vowed to deliver on his campaign promise of banning horse-drawn carriages and said last week he expected City Council to ban the carriages by year’s end. Wenig says if and when the decision is made, he is ready to roll. “Next steps are determined by people other than me, but when I’m called upon and ready to build more of these things, I’m ready to go,” he said.