By APA News Bureau:
Shell India is looking for suitable OEM partners to produce its new flat-pack truck: OX Truck. The highly flexible OX Truck, the brainchild of the Gordon Murray Design lab and the Global Vehicle Trust, is considered to be a viable solution for rural transportation in India and other similar markets.
“We are working with Shell and some other OEMs and also hoping to engage with some other production partners. In India we are looking for someone with production potential and sourcing capability and ideally, parts based on Shell’s capabilities,” Mike Brown, Advanced Product and Business Strategy Director, Gordon Murray Design, said,
The company is open to working with different OEMs in different markets or working with an Indian parent company that will also export to other markets such as Africa.
The OX is a simple to maintain truck, suitable for the diverse and rugged Indian terrain of deep sands, steep hills, marshy lands, and steep river banks in hard-to-reach communities in developing regions. It is also the world’s first flat-pack truck – it can be assembled from a flat-pack kit in less than 12 hours – and can be transported in larger numbers to where it is needed more quickly.
“Limited mobility restricts access to basic amenities in remote areas. Shell is eager to contribute to developing and promoting effective mobility solutions thereby improving the quality of life of people in these areas,” Nitin Prasad, Chairman, Shell Companies in India, said.
“The OX is a very promising technology and has immense potential to broaden access to transport possibilities. We are pleased to partner with GMD and GVT and hope this versatile vehicle will be instrumental in transforming lives and overcoming daily accessibility challenges,” he added.
The flat-pack design makes OX simple to maintain, having accessible components and fewer parts. It is ecologically sound, easy to manufacture, build and transport.
The lightweight OX originated from the vision of Sir Torquil Norman, the founder of GVT. It is based on GMD’s flexible iStream technology. It is specifically designed to carry a payload of 1,900 kg or up to 13 people or eight 44-gallon drums. Powered by a 2.2-litre diesel engine the front-wheel drive prototype has been able to traverse rugged terrain far beyond what its specifications would suggest.
The flat-pack format fundamentally changes the way a vehicle can be bought and transported, providing specific advantages to lead times and overall unit cost. With the flat-pack format, the vehicle is designed to be easy to assemble, according to Brown.
He further said that the vehicle packs into completely flat pack and so transporting it is easy. The focus is always on low investment and doing it affordably. The design is all about self-assembly. “We have looked at small features, for example the door on the left side is same as the door on the right hand side of the vehicle. There are as many common parts as possible. The suspension arm and the trailing arms on the suspension are similar. So there will be low cost of repair, low cost to manufacture, low cost of assembly,” Brown said.
Though the company has not mentioned about fuel efficiency, as it will depend on the powertrain that is used, it is a lighter vehicle; in theory, an equivalent of the Shell powertrain should have better efficiency and better emissions, he added.
About the cost of ownership, Brown said, “I can’t tell you how much it would cost in India. In theory, given the ease of repair, assembly, and all, it should be low.”
Make The Future
Held for the first time in India recently, ‘Make the Future’ event featuring Shell Eco-marathon was a festival of ideas and innovations. It was a global platform for conversations, collaborations and innovations on energy challenges. In India, the event focused on ‘Powering progress in mobility, together.’ The four-day event featured bright ideas and solutions to meet the energy demands of the future producing less CO2. The second day of Make the Future, featuring Shell Eco-marathon, saw student teams competing on the track after passing a detailed technical inspection.