Imagine a crate of trucks that can be shipped on-site, built within a day, then sent to the four corners of the country delivering food, people, animals, medicine or a new shipment of mobile devices. Our first world problem encompass jamming 1000 pieces of $9.99 flat-packed furniture into small, hybrid cars. In developing countries, flat-packed furniture may have a market, but Sir Torquil Norman is betting millions that flat-packed trucks definitely have a market. The Ox, the philanthropic venture of Sir Torquil and in development by Global Vehicle Trust (GVT), is a truck being design and built in Britian with the goal of helping developing countries gain control over the transportation of needed supplies. Now, they’re seeking funding to finish the project.
The flat-packed Ox truck
The key focus for such a truck is developing countries and limited manufacturing. The truck is reportedly capable of being assembled in 12 hours and disassembled in half the time by three men with basic tools. It has various configurations that allow transport of supplies or people, with a 2.2 ton payload capable of a eight 44 gallon barrel hauling capacity or carrying 13 people plus three in the front seat. The Ox runs a 2.2 litre front-wheel drive, diesel engine and is also fitted with a power take-off (PTO) that can pump water, saw wood or run a generator. The cost savings come around shipment and assembly.
Uniquely, it is capable of being flat-packed within itself – so there is no requirement for an expensive box or individual pallets, ensuring freight costs are kept to a minimum. Six OX vehicles, including engines and transmissions, will fit into a standard 40ft hi-cube container. In addition, assembly labour is transferred to the importing country, such as Africa, where local professional companies will be found to assemble and maintain the finished vehicles.
So, what’s the price on one of these trucks? The cost will be between $15,300 US (£10,000) and $38,200 US (£25,000) with the intention it lasts up to 25 years. This is certainly less expensive in comparison to other transport trucks, but not exactly one you grab another of after the kids have been a little too rough with the first one. The target, however, is not the individual, but charities and aid organizations–which still does not quite put that price in the ‘affordable’ range. This is the first flat-packed truck in development, but Mobius Motors has their own Mobius Two SUV with a friendlier target price of $6,000, however you won’t be carrying 16 people or a boatload of supplies very easily in this one.
GVT has not turned to Kickstarter yet, but the announcement about the project was to drum up support and funding. “We have spent around £1 million bringing the OX to the working prototype stage and we need a further £3 million to take the project through to a production-ready status,” said Sir Torquil. “This is why we are now ‘going public’ to highlight the need for investment and support in order to progress the project to completion.” You can contact Sir Torquil via the GVT website to help out with the project.