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Zakopane, Morskie Oko. Horses carrying tourists will not have it easier. Hybrid car tests completed

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Tests of a hybrid horse-drawn cart that took tourists to Morskie Oko in the Tatra Mountains have been suspended. The engines installed in the vehicle were supposed to support the work of the horses, but the attempts were unsuccessful. The batteries did not last the whole trip, and the operation of the system was too much for the coachman.

The modern gel batteries used in the car turned out to be too weak. According to Zbigniew Kowalski from the Tatra National Park, during the test, the fully charged batteries began to discharge quickly. The testers had to reduce the assistance to a minimum in order to reach the end of the route. While driving down the railway, the batteries were charging and there was no problem here. In addition to the insufficient power of the batteries used in the car, it turned out to be problematic to adjust the power of the assistance while driving.

One more person needed

– This system required constant monitoring and alignment of the drive. The coachman, however, cannot be involved in driving and adjusting this equipment at the same time. We know what the problem is, but there is no decision on how to proceed. We are waiting for the car manufacturer’s response regarding further proposals to improve this prototype – said Zbigniew Kowalski from the Tatra National Park.

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Kowalski said that in order to efficiently operate the power steering system, there would have to be an additional person on the car who would keep an eye on its work and monitor its parameters so that the battery is not discharged quickly.

– It is impossible to set the support parameters once and go, because the route has flattened and steeper sections, where the support should be greater. There is, in turn, a minimum parameter that cannot be exceeded. This means that the car is electrically assisted all the time while driving – explained Kowalski.

Tests suspended

“For now, we are on hold for further testing and we need to think about what to do next. Will we have to come up with a completely new solution? Perhaps we will consider further modification. We will definitely not be ordering new cars – added Kowalski.

This is the second, improved prototype of a hybrid horse cart. The first was constructed at the request of TPN in 2016, but after a series of tests, the batteries of that one were burned. The current car uses completely new solutions. Some of the components were imported from Great Britain and Italian. The energy transfer system has changed, which is more fluid in this car. In the previous prototype, the horses were pushed by the cart at certain times and held down at other times.

The end of the tests of the hybrid horse-drawn cartTVN24

It looks like a traditional car

The hybrid horse cart is an innovative vehicle that supports the work of horses with electric motors when driving uphill. On the other hand, while driving downhill, the batteries are charged and you can recover up to 95 percent. energy. A hybrid car is heavier than a classic car by about 500 kilograms. It is also longer due to the batteries and gear system. All mechanisms have been hidden in this vehicle under the chassis. The bodywork is almost identical to traditional cars.

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The prototype of the hybrid horse-drawn cart was financed by TPN and cost PLN 120,000. zloty. The decision to test such vehicles was made in 2015 by the TPN authorities after protests by animal rights activists, who demanded the complete removal of horse transport from the route to Morskie Oko.

About 300 horses work on the route to Morskie Oko in the season. Their health is constantly monitored by veterinarians and TPN services. Horse-drawn tourist transport on the Polana Palenica-Włosienica route is organized by the Association of Carriers to Morskie Oko from the Bukowina Tatrzańska Commune.

Main photo source: TVN24

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