The future is here. Indian entrepreneur from Massachusetts who created 5-hour Energy drink, Manoj Bhargava, is now putting his assets into something extremely useful that could change the lives of millions of people. He has created a stationary bike which will provide a household with energy for an entire day after just an hour of pedaling.
The mysterious billionaire behind the caffeine shot you can get at every checkout counter has more money than he has need for. So, he has decided to put it to good use and invest $4 billion, his time and knowledge into a project called Free Electric. The idea was to make a stationary bike that would create energy to supply lights and basic home appliances by using it for an hour. This way he wanted to tackle one of the largest world issues – providing electricity for those that have very little of it or none at all.
Bhargava has finished this electric battery-equipped bike last year and he is calling it “the cheapest, most practical way to create electricity around the world”. He presented the project in the documentary Billions in Change where he said that those who are wealthy have the duty to help those less fortunate. His motto:”Make a difference in people’s lives. Don’t just talk about it.”
Living Essentials CEO, Bhargava, aims to make use of the human mechanical energy, as he explains in the documentary, something so amazing but rarely used. With this project, he aims to change the lives of millions of people and help in preserving our planet.
How does the bicycle work? It’s simple. According to Bhargava, the person peddling causes the wheel on the bicycle to turn a flywheel which turns a generator. The generator then charges the battery which keeps enough energy for 24 hours for appliances such as lights, smartphones, fans and so on. The best part is that this bike is made of regular bicycle parts, which makes it easy to repair by any bike repairman in the world.
Coming from India, Manoj Bhargava wants to provide his home country with the bikes first, especially those in poor parts of India, the ones most in need of free electricity. “The real thing is to get the poor out of poverty, and one of the basics is energy,” he says. He believes that a project like this will help many families improve their situations and living conditions. Therefore, the first batch of bikes is going to Lucknow, where Bhargava was born, Amethi and Raebareli.
The first supplement of 25 Free Electric bikes was shipped to India a few days ago, officially starting the pilot project. In a few weeks, these bikes will arrive at their destinations in poor households, schools and small business where it will be determined whether the project actually works in the real world.
However, while this first shipment of Free Electric bikes is free, the prices will vary depending on the income level of households. Those most in need will be able to get the bikes for free, while the price will go to $250 and even up to $1500 for those wealthy households that want “fancier” versions of the bike.
Businessman and philanthropist, Manoj Bhargava, is actually quite a mysterious person. Nobody really knows how much money he has and what exactly all of his business ventures are. What is known is that he was born into a rich family in India but they struggled when they came to America when Manoj was only 14. He even dropped out of Princeton because he thought it was “boring” only to pursue his own education and become a serious scientist and entrepreneur.
Now he is one of the richest people in the world who is more than willing to give back to the people. Apart from Free Electric project that already seems like a revolutionary idea bound to change the future, Bhargava is working on other projects that aim to make saltwater drinkable, provide limitless amounts of clean geothermal energy and enhance body circulation.
And when asked about his philanthropy, Bhargava refuses to see it as altruism, saying: “It’s not giving back. It’s what else am I going to do?”