One way of providing electricity to parts of the world that still have no access is to give them the means to generate it themselves. That’s the approach being taken by Billions in Change: free electric bike that lets users produce electricity by pedalling.
Billions in Change was founded by Manoj Bhargava with the aim of “positively impacting humanity.” It seeks to develop and distribute its own inventions that can help to provide solutions to problems in the areas of water, energy and health.
Using pedal power to generate electricity is not a new idea, of course, but Billions in Change says it has been able to refine the concept. “Energy-producing bikes are not new, but before Free Electric there wasn’t anything that produced enough electricity to power 24 light bulbs, a fan, a phone and tablet charger at the same time,” the group states on its website.
Since the release of the Billions in Change film, they’ve made some improvements to the Hans Free Electric. The large flywheel has been replaced by a smaller flywheel system, reducing the size, weight, and cost of the bike, and improving its efficiency.
In March 2016, they shipped 25 Hans Free Electric™ units to India for pilot testing in rural households, small businesses, health clinics, and schools. In addition to receiving valuable feedback from participants on how to further improve the bike, they saw how truly life-changing this invention will be.
There are two versions of the bike. A simple version for poorer countries will cost around US$250. A more sophisticated model aimed at wealthier countries where electricity might drop out as a result of a natural disaster, for example, is priced at $1,200-$1,500.
In a time where the energy access is one of the first step for a sustainable development in remoted areas, doing an hour of a healthy exercise each day to provide electricity to your home should appeal to a bunch of people!