On 16th January 2024, the city of Cartagena, Colombia, began taking the first steps to replace traditional horse-drawn carriages with prototypes of electric wagons. Horse-drawn carriages have been widely criticized by animal protection organizations due to the mistreatment of animals. Horses have fallen during the work they are forced to do, and some have died of dehydration while pulling wagons.

In addition to avoiding animal suffering, the electric prototype uses clean energy, and therefore this new vehicle is friendly to both animals and the environment.

The mayor of Cartagena, Dumek Turbay, told reporters that he expects that “by the end of 2024 the transition process from animal-drawn carriages to electrically powered carriages  will be completed and that only electric carriages will be running in the city.”

Alejandro Riaño, a comedian who has been promoting the electric carriage, told El Heraldo, “You have to use new technologies that allow you to evolve and show that you can enjoy and at the same time protect animals and the environment.”

The new electric carriage costs about $25,560 (23,500 euros) and can carry up to four people and the driver. It has a canopy to protect passengers from rain or sun and looks very similar to traditional horse-drawn carriages (it even has a stereo system that plays the sound of neighing and hooves as the horses walk). 

Other cities around the world have already done the same. All horse-drawn galleys in the  Balearic city of L’Alcúdia, Balearic Islands, Spain, can now be replaced with electric carriages. With the help of the L’Alcúdia town hall, drivers have already contacted manufacturers of electric carriages, which will cost around €50,000 each.

Jordi Casamitjana
“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’.