Apr 11, 2018 – Shell has announced that it will commission a pre-production prototype of the world’s first flat-pack truck and it will take this truck to India, which is home to almost 18% of the world’s population1.
The ‘OX to India’ mission will showcase the capabilities of the vehicle for bringing low-cost all-terrain mobility to rural communities in developing countries.
The ‘OX to India’ mission is a partnership between Shell and Gordon Murray Design (GMD), working in close alignment with the Global Vehicle Trust (GVT). This represents a crucial development stage of the vehicle, which was officially launched in 2016.
Shell will fund a bespoke prototype OX to take to India and will set up an outreach programme once the vehicle is in India. The vehicle will be re-engineered and built by GMD, and flat-packed for shipment to India in the later part of 2018.
The OX, based on GMD’s flexible iStream® technology, will run exclusively on Shell fluids including Shell Rimula, a hard-working and high-performing diesel engine oil designed to help heavy duty and light duty engines to run efficiently in demanding conditions.
“Shell is eager to play a role alongside others in developing and promoting mobility solutions in developing regions. The OX to India demonstration will see the concept validated and discussed on the ground in a real world setting. 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,” said Huibert Vigeveno, Executive Vice President, Shell Global Commercial.
The OX is designed to carry a payload of 1,900kg (approximately twice the capacity of most current pick-ups), which could include everyday necessities, medical supplies, building and agriculture materials. It can seat up to 13 people. The vehicle was envisioned by entrepreneur and philanthropist Sir Torquil Norman and designed by renowned automotive engineer Professor Gordon Murray.
Other innovative features of the OX include:
- Lightweight, rugged and durable design to maximise payload for goods and people
- Low cost, simple maintenance through accessible components and fewer parts
- Designed for self-assembly, supplied fully assembled or flat-packed for easy shipping and local assembly
Sir Torquil Norman, founder of GVT said: “I’m so pleased to welcome Shell aboard the OX project and for sharing GVT’s vision that this remarkable and versatile vehicle will provide a transformation in affordable mobility for so many people where the need is most acute. With Shell taking the OX to India we can demonstrate its capability in a key market, which will help attract long-term production partners.”
Professor Gordan Murray, Executive Chairman, GMD said: “After our highly successful co-engineering Shell Concept Car programme with Shell, it is exciting to be once again working with Shell on the next phase of this extremely important and ground-breaking project. The OX is one of our most important engineering designs and it is certainly the vehicle of which I am most proud of, as its disruptive design has the potential to change the current mobility model and with Shell’s vision this vehicle could go on to improve so many people’s lives.”
Recognising the need for sustainable, cleaner and more energy efficient transportation solutions, Shell is collaborating and co-engineering a number of projects. In 2016, Shell partnered with Gordon Murray to co-engineer the Shell Concept Car – an ultra-efficient city vehicle that, compared to a typical city car, uses 34% less primary energy over its entire lifetime. Shell is also partnering with AirFlow Truck Company to develop a new hyper-fuel mileage Class 8 truck known as the Starship. Its aerodynamic design will seek to demonstrate improvements in fuel economy for while lowering CO2 emissions.
- 1Source: United Nations, World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision
- The OX’s revolutionary nature extends beyond the vehicle design because, uniquely, it is capable of being flat-packed within itself, enabling it to be transported more efficiently around the world. It takes three people less than six hours to create the flat pack in the UK prior to shipping, and six of these flat packs can be shipped within a 40ft high-cube container. Assembly labour is transferred to the importing country, where local professional companies will be employed to assemble and maintain the finished vehicles. Three skilled people can put an OX together in approximately 12 hours.
- The overall vehicle length is far shorter than a large SUV, and yet it can carry a payload of 1900kg (approximately twice the capacity of most current pick-ups) with a load volume of 9.0 m3. Based on EU size guidelines, it can seat up to 13 people or carry eight 44-gallon drums or three Euro-pallets. Figures are based upon production targets.
- For more information visit: http://oxgvt.com/
Royal Dutch Shell plc
Royal Dutch Shell plc is incorporated in England and Wales, has its headquarters in The Hague and is listed on the London, Amsterdam, and New York stock exchanges. Shell companies have operations in more than 70 countries and territories with businesses including oil and gas exploration and production; production and marketing of liquefied natural gas and gas to liquids; manufacturing, marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals and renewable energy projects. For further information, visit www.shell.com.
About Gordon Murray Design Limited
Gordon Murray Design Limited is a British company operating from Shalford, Surrey. The Company is recognised as a world leader in automotive design and reverses the current industry trend for sub-contracting by having a complete in-house capability for design, engineering, prototyping and development. The Company is compact and focused and undertakes automotive and other engineering programmes in an efficient and innovative way. For more information please visit www.gordonmurraydesign.com.
The iStream® technology is a complete rethink and redesign of the traditional automotive manufacturing process and could potentially be the biggest revolution in high volume manufacture since the Model T. Development. The process began over 15 years ago and it has already won the prestigious ‘Idea of the Year’ award from Autocar who were given privileged access in order to make their assessment. The simplified assembly process means that the manufacturing plant can be designed to be 20% of the size of a conventional factory. This could reduce capital investment in the assembly plant by approximately 80%. Yet the flexibility of this assembly process means that the same factory could be used to manufacture different variants. The iStream® design process is a complete re-think on high volume materials, as well as the manufacturing process and will lead to a significant reduction in full lifecycle CO2. For more information please visit www.istreamtechnology.co.uk
About the Global Vehicle Trust
In 2010, Sir Torquil Norman founded the Global Vehicle Trust (GVT) to pursue his ambition to help people in the developing world by providing cost-effective mobility for all. The GVT subsequently briefed renowned automotive designer Professor Gordon Murray on a unique humanitarian programme to create a revolutionary lightweight truck. As part of an aid programme, the Global Vehicle Trust OX could provide an essential element of infrastructure to enable the local population to raise the community’s standard of living, and to assert its independence by gaining control of its transportation needs and costs.
Sir Torquil Norman is a former pilot, banker, company executive and toy manufacturing entrepreneur. He is a passionate philanthropist, and is chiefly responsible for the rescue and renovation of The Roundhouse in Camden, north London.
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SOURCE: Royal Dutch Shell plc