Working horses will be able to take life a little easier with a new electric hybrid cart being tested at the Swiss National Stud.
Horses have made a comeback in more than 120 cities and towns across France and Switzerland. They are used to pull rubbish and recycling collection carts, in parks maintenance and as “green” school buses.
Now a hybrid cart — with an electric motor that cuts in to help with hills and on difficult terrain — has been developed by Swiss technology company Meterus and the Fribourg College of Engineering and Architecture, with government help.
Reudi von Neiderhäusen of the Swiss Stud said: “We have used six different horses to test the cart, looking at the effect it has on the horse.
“Our research is not concluded, but the response from local people has been very positive. It changes people’s relationship with the street cleaners for the better when they are using a horse rather than a tractor.”
This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (15 November 2012)