Electric wicker carts returning to Balboa Park!

The electric wicker cart Electriquettes are returning to Balboa Park early 2016!
The electric wicker cart Electriquettes are returning to Balboa Park in early 2016!

The wicker carts are returning to Balboa Park! What fun!

The now famous electric motorized wicker carts were introduced to Balboa Park one hundred years ago for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. They were called Electriquettes. They were an enormous success!

Starting in early 2016–perhaps February I was told–visitors to Balboa Park will be able to rent the new wicker carts at the San Diego Air and Space Museum. The test program will run for a year, and I hope it’s successful!

I learned that the carts travel at about 2-3 miles per hour, an easy-going speed appropriate for a pedestrian and family-friendly city park. As I understand it, the carts will be restricted to Balboa Park’s core area. They appear super easy to operate–one just steers and applies power! Perhaps the coolest thing is that these vehicles are a reasonably close representation of the original Electriquettes.

Check out the San Diego Electriquettes website, and you can see additional historical photos!

I can’t wait to ride one!

UPDATE!

The Electriquettes began running toward the end of March! I even saw a couple driving about the Plaza de Panama, but didn’t have my camera handy! I’ve learned they can be rented right in front of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center!

A modern Electriquette is displayed in Balboa Park, in anticipation of its reintroduction. The unique wicker carts will be rented by visitors at the Air and Space Museum.
An Electriquette is displayed in Balboa Park, in anticipation of the vehicle’s reintroduction. The unique wicker carts will be rented by visitors at the Air and Space Museum.
Old photograph of an original Electriquette in San Diego's Balboa Park a century ago. 2015 is the park's centennial.
Old photograph of an original Electriquette in San Diego’s Balboa Park a century ago.
Introduced at the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park, the historical wicker Electriquettes are making a comeback! Cool!
Introduced at the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park, the historical wicker Electriquettes are making a comeback! Very cool!

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Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

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