Nous avons réalisé un petit dossier de presse/invitation pour le Colloque sur les Véhicules Hippomobiles Hybrides à Assistance, du dimanche 15 mai 2011 à Viriat (Ain), organisé par HIPPOTESE, en français et en anglais (pour nos amis européens qui semblent très intéressés par le sujet).

Vous pouvez télécharger ce document en PDF (2,5 Mo) ici...

Abstract in english :

Conference about Assisted Hybrid Horsedraft Vehicles, May the 15th 2011 at Viriat (Ain, France),

Hippotese, as always willing to make modern use of animal energy progress, is organizing the first conference about hippo-hybrids vehicles, on Sunday may the 15th, at 10 o’clock. It will take place just after the Horse-Logging National Competition, At “La Ferme du Bois de But”, Chemin de But (town of Viriat, 01440), on the road of Marboz (D996), between Viriat et Marboz, at 10 km at the north of Bourg-en-Bresse, at 30 mn at east of Macon (highway A40, exit N°5). Entrance is free.

The conference program :

  • Interests and limits of assisting a horse draft vehicle
  • Point on research
  • Presentation of French and European projects and prototypes
  • Partnerships
  • Prospects
  • ...

1) Definition of a hippo-hybrid vehicle :
First of all, what is a hippo-hybrid vehicle ?
It is a cross between electric car and horse cart with the same logic as for the electric bike. It is not about using external propulsion instead of animal driver, but to assist the animal in its work, so it would have to strain further than a certain limit previously fixed. It is the same as with electric bike, where the biker still has to produce an effort.
A second, well-know point, is that horses aren’t good at slowing wagons when going downhill, supporting the load make them suffer. A hippo-hybrid vehicle would be able to help by slowing itself, and thus gathering energy which would be converted and stocked for later use going up-hill. If we take the electric assistance as an example, battery gives electric power which makes the engine work and help going uphill, and when going downhill the engine is used as alternator, slows the vehicle down while recharging the battery.

2) For which concret uses ?
We can easily imagine a town which would like to use a horse to collect green waste. But the old town, where streets narrowness plainly justify to use a horse draft vehicle, is uphill, and it is hard to get there for a horse. With a hippo-hybrid vehicle, you can do the job with only one horse, and so only one coachman.
Also, it would be useful for :

  • School “bus”
  • Tourists transportation when the route isn’t totally flat (see previous post)
  • Caravan trekking (those caravans are usually very heavy)
  • ...

3) To get research forward
As many other technological projects (sending a man on the moon for example), the research on hippo-hybrids vehicles might help go forward on :

  • Continuous strain measurement technics (eg : Equiforce yoke by Métérus)
  • Processing data and assistance management, taking count of animal’s physiology and psychology

And so an updated and more accurate knowledge of animal capacities (strength, stamina, average power…)

  • Engines with stronger torque, light, which could be used to slowdown
  • Maybe air-engines
  • Simpler and more efficient drive systems (like the wheel-engine EzWheel…), and easily adaptable to any kind of vehicles (even to trailers…)
  • More efficient and lighter energy storage systems
  • ...

So much for a very interesting research program, as we like them at HIPPOTESE…
If you know of others who have experienced this kind of system, or who wishes to come participate, they are welcome ...
For further information, please send an email to :
Or visit the website of HIPPOTESE :

Deny Fady, chairman