All the horse-drawn carriages in the Balearic town of L’ Alcúdia, Balearic Islands, Spain, may be switched to electric carriages. All the drivers of horse-drawn carriages there have been talking about doing so for some while, but a reason why it had not been pursued was the lack of formal approval from Spain’s industry ministry, which only arrived in March 2023. Now, with the help of L’ Alcúdia town hall, the drivers have already contacted manufacturers of electric carriages, which will cost around 50,000 euros each.

New regulations in the town had already suspended the carriages services during the hours that a heat alert is active. The police, town hall and drivers share a WhatsApp group that informs them in real-time of the hours when service is prohibited based on met agency alerts.

José Antonio Salazar, a holder of one of the L’ Alcúdia licences, said: “We have been looking at how to do this for about ten years now, but until a few months ago it wasn’t feasible because there was no regulation that would allow them to be approved. We know that drivers from elsewhere in the Balearics and on the mainland are not in favour because they believe that we will lose our charm, but we don’t see it that way. Electric carriages operate successfully in Germany, for example, and working with horses is becoming more difficult for us every day. We are considered the bad guys and we suffer constant insults.”

Councillor Azahara Machado said, “We are trying to be the first in Spain to replace the entire fleet with electric carriages.”

On 28th July 2022, the city of Palma de Mallorca, the capital of the Balearic Islands, approved a proposal for replacing horse-drawn carriages with electric carriages. In Muro, another Balearic town with horse-drawn carriages, the town hall gave its support for the switch a couple of years ago but admitted there were issues regarding approval and manufacture.

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.