People who unselfishly share their knowledge, ideas and resources with those less fortunate than themselves have always deeply impressed and motivated me.
Probably half the world’s population is suffering to an unimaginable extent. On one hand, senseless wars are ravaging so many countries in the world, and on the other, there are millions of people who are still deprived of the basic living necessities, such as food, water, and electricity.
Manoj Bhargava has come up with an idea to provide the world’s poorest people with access to electricity. Allow me to share some more information about him.
Who is Manoj Bhargava?
He is a 62 year old, well-to-do American entrepreneur of Indian origin, and a founder of the factory ‘Billions in Change”. The aim of this company is to influence humanity in positive ways by creating and sharing inventions that could solve problems with the shortage of electrical energy, water, and health care in the developing countries in the world.
This noble man believes that rich people have a duty to share their wealth with the poorest people in the world and really make a change in someone’s life rather than just talk about it.
His most popular invention is a caffeinated energy drink called ‘5 Hour Energy’, whose sales have made him a billionaire. He has decided to become a ray of hope for the world’s poorest people by giving away most of his fortune to improve their living conditions. So, he creates devices that could make their lives easier. In that respect, he has designed a device that could provide people with a clean and free source of electricity.
How does Free Electric Bicycle function and what can it do?
With the help of his engineers, he has created a simple yet versatile bicycle, which can provide electricity for 24 hours by pedaling it for 60 minutes. The idea to create power by pedaling was not new, but inventors from Billions in Change have upgraded it and designed a Free Electric hybrid Bike. They have worked on improving the function of each part and making it as simple as possible. The device can produce enough electricity to sustain 24 bulbs, a phone, a fan, and a tablet charger.
This battery-equipped stationery bicycle would enable households with scarce or no electricity to generate power by themselves. His plan is to give away 10, 000 of these devices next year in India. By simply pedaling the bicycle for one hour, people will be able to power the basic home appliances for a whole day.
He says that this bicycle is “the cheapest, most practical way of getting electricity throughout the world”, and adds: “the real thing is to get the poor out of poverty, and one of the basic [needs] is energy. The poor have stayed poor because they have no power, they have no energy – and that’s one of the most fundamental things.”
The Free Electric Hybrid bike is the first in the series of his devices. It is small and simple, consisting of regular bicycle parts, an alternator, a 12-V battery, and weights. It was constructed in this way so that any bicycle mechanic could easily maintain and repair it if needed. Most importantly, it can provide a whole day of electricity for an impoverished household simply by pedaling it for an hour by making use of mechanical energy. The pedaling of the bike spins a flywheel, thus activating a generator and charging a battery. The villagers could purchase one bicycle with shared funds and then exchange multiple batteries that would be provided for individual households.
If members of each home spent an hour pedaling the bicycle every day, the whole village would always have enough electricity.
This invention could truly transform and revolutionize their lives in multiple ways.
Not only would they have light in their homes and energy to run the necessary household appliances, but electricity would also give them access to education through the internet.
The Billions in Change team is still working on improving the productivity of the bike so that it can make an even greater amount of electrical energy.
Manoj Bhargava estimates that the cost of manufacturing the bicycle would be roughly 250 $ for the simple version aimed for developing countries, and a more refined model for richer countries would be more costly –its price would be around 1, 200 $.
He intends to begin producing both version of the bicycle at the beginning of next year.
Apart from providing free and clean electrical energy for millions of people living in poverty, people in wealthier countries could also reap huge benefits from this device. I believe that some of us sometimes struggle with the high costs of energy and expensive electricity bills. In times of critical events, electric companies raise the rates whenever they regard it as a necessary measure. Free Electric Bike could help us reduce the high cost of energy, while doing something useful for our health as well. This bicycle could help us solve our obesity problem.
We often complain that we do not have enough time to incorporate a workout routine into our hectic daily schedules. Well, this bicycle is stationery, light and easy for pedaling and it could easily fit into every home. Isn’t it a great incentive to know that you are doing something beneficial for your health as well as for your home? It certainly is for me. I would gladly exchange my Stepper Twister workout machine with this bicycle instantly.