Kentucky Derby and Horseless eCarriages

eCarriage replacing horse carriages

What do the following have in common?

  • Wicked Strong
  • At least $2 million
  • Intense Holiday
  • NBC
  • 1.25 miles
  • California Chrome

If you don’t follow the Kentucky Derby, not much. (See the bottom of this post for the answer to what each listed item is in relation to the Run for the Roses. Also, we’ll tell you why it’s called the Run for the Roses.)

Well, the Kentucky Derby’s Galloping on the Green Celebration, which took place on Saturday, may soon be one of the last places that you can enjoy a ride in a horse carriage, or “hansom cab.”

The iconic images and sounds of New York City’s hansom cabs may soon be a thing of the past soon. And what might replace them?

Electric cars. Now, that’s quite a technological leap forward.

The eCarriage is being proposed as a replacement by the design firm Creative Workshop of Florida. It is styled to look like a 1910s touring car, says president Jason Wenig, himself a Brooklyn native. Wenig states that the eCarriage will meet relevant NHTSA legal standards, including having passenger seat belts, and as a bonus, a convertible top and a propane heater for passenger safety and comfort, in the event of inclement weather.

The eCarriage’s power plant would be a 63-kilowatt (that’s 84 horsepower, in equine-speak) electric motor, powered by lithium-ion batteries, and have a 100-mile range. It is the size of a seven-passenger, full-size SUV, seats eight, weighs 7,500 pounds, and rides on 26-inch truck tires. So…not your typical carriage.

Despite its similarity to electric vehicles that may occupy road space soon, the eCarriage would have a maximum speed of 5 mph, much more like its steed-driven counterpart.

Now, for the promised answers to the above Kentucky Derby references:

  • Wicked Strong – A horse. A favored strider that rode to 4th under jockey Rajiv Maragh.
  • At least $2 million – The purse. That ain’t hay.
  • Intense Holiday – Another horse. Seen as a contender, but strained at the finish to place 12th under jockey John Velazquez.
  • NBC – The network covering the event.
  • 1.25 miles – The length of the race.
  • California Chrome – The winning horse. A real nags-to-riches story. A California-bred, and foaled from a “worthless” mare, Love That Chase, that was purchased by her owners for $8,000, and sired by stallion Lucky Pulpit for a paltry $2,500 stud fee. Trained by Art Sherman, California Chrome won the derby by three-quarters of a length under jockey Victor Espinoza.
  • Run for the Roses – A nickname for the Kentucky Derby, as the victors have thousands of roses spread before them after the race is won.
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