Free Electric: A bicycle that generates free, clean energy

Manoj Bhargava's Free Electric hybrid bike could impact billions of people who’ve lived their lives off the grid.

Billionaire business mogul Manoj Bhargava has chosen to throw his weight behind initiatives that work for the betterment of the world. To this aim, Bhargava founded the Billions in Change movement, which works to create and implement solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges. The movement’s initiatives focus on the areas of water, electricity and health.

The first innovation in a series of several, the Free Electric hybrid bike is expected to have an immense impact on people who live their lives off the grid or with barely any access to electricity.

“Everything requires energy. Energy is the great equaliser,” says Bhargava, adding that over half of the world’s population have no access to electricity or access to electricity for two or three hours per day.

Bhargava’s team developed a hybrid bicycle to take advantage of mechanical energy created by humans to solve one of the world’s most pervasive problems.

The Free Electric hybrid bike can supply a rural household with energy for 24 hours after one hour of pedalling. The pedalling drives a flywheel, which turns a generator and charges a battery.

One bicycle could potentially provide a small village with electricity if each household spends one hour per day pedalling.

The bicycle is also a clean way to generate power. If half of the world is hooked-up to a Free Electric it means half the world is using eco-friendly energy.

Bhargava plans to distribute 10 000 of the bicycles in India next year. Bhargava has pledged 90 per cent of his wealth to charity and research. 

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