LONDON--Well-known automobile designer Gordon Murray has a habit of shaking things up. His latest project may not be the most exciting, but, it could be quite revolutionary. About a year and a half ago. Murray designed the OX truck to be cheap to manufacture, shipped in flat packs and quickly assembled at its final destination. According to the Global Vehicle Trust (GVT), which is funding the project, three skilled people can put an OX together in approximately 12 hours.
The project's mission is to transport people and goods to underdeveloped parts of the world. Later this year, a prototype OX is headed to India, where Shell, Murray and the GVT will test the vehicle in real-world conditions to see if the vehicle can be used to help impoverished, hard-to-reach places.
“The OX to India demonstration will see the concept validated and discussed on the ground in a real world setting,” says Shell EVP Huibert Vigeveno. “We know limited mobility in hard-to-reach communities in developing economies can restrict access to basic services, and can limit the effectiveness of efforts to improve the quality of life. The OX has the potential to broaden access to transport possibilities and all the resulting benefits that come with this.”
The vehicle is about the size of a Toyota RAV4, but exchanges its refinement and style for raw capability and cost-effectiveness. The OX can haul over 4,000 pounds and nearly 250 cubic feet on its back. That translates to eight 44-gallon drums of drinking water, three Euro-standard pallets of food and medical supplies, or 13 people.
The vehicle is powered by the 2.2-liter diesel engine from a Ford Transit van. It ships flat so six of them can fit in a standard 40-foot container.