Shell Lubricants has commissioned a pre-production prototype of the world's first flat-pack truck called ‘Ox’ and plans to take it to India. 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 of the Ox to be taken to India and will set up an outreach programme. The vehicle will be re-engineered and built by GMD, and flat-packed for shipment to India by the end of 2018.
The truck can be easily assembled by any layman in just a few hours
The Ox, based on GMD’s flexible iStream technology, will run exclusively on Shell fluids including Shell Rimula, a diesel engine oil designed to help heavy duty and light duty engines to run efficiently in demanding conditions.
L-R: Professor Gordon Murray, executive chairman, Gordon Murray Design, Sir Torquil Norman, founder of GVT and Huibert Vigeveno, executive vice-president, Shell Global Commercial.
“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 pickups). It can seat up to 13 people. The vehicle was envisioned by entrepreneur and philanthropist Sir Torquil Norman and designed by automotive engineer Professor Gordon Murray.
The Ox has a lightweight, rugged and durable design. It promises low cost and simple maintenance and is designed for self-assembly. It could also be supplied fully assembled or flat-packed for easy shipping and local assembly.
Sir Torquil Norman, founder of GVT said: “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 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.”
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, is claimed to use 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 while lowering CO2 emissions.
Also read: The world's first flat-pack truck