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Shell to further power progress on the Global Vehicle Trust OX: the inventive flat-pack truck

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 OX to take to India and will set up an outreach programme once the vehicle is in India. The vehicle will be re-engineered and built by GMD, and flat-packed for shipment to India in the later part of 2018.

The OX, based on GMD’s flexible iStream® technology, will run exclusively on Shell fluids including Shell Rimula, a hard-working and high-performing diesel engine oil designed to help heavy duty and light duty engines to run efficiently in demanding conditions

“Shell is eager to play a role alongside others in developing and promoting mobility solutions in developing regions. The OX to India demonstration will see the concept validated and discussed on the ground in a real world setting. We know limited mobility in hard-to-reach communities in developing economies can restrict access to basic services, and can limit the effectiveness of efforts to improve the quality of life. 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 pick-ups), which could include everyday necessities, medical supplies, building and agriculture materials. It can seat up to 13 people. The vehicle was envisioned by entrepreneur and philanthropist Sir Torquil Norman and designed by renowned automotive engineer Professor Gordon Murray.

Other innovative features of the OX include:

  • Lightweight, rugged and durable design to maximise payload for goods and people
  • Low cost, simple maintenance through accessible components and fewer parts
  • Designed for self-assembly, supplied fully assembled or flat-packed for easy shipping and local assembly

Sir Torquil Norman, founder of GVT said: “I’m so pleased to welcome Shell aboard the OX project and for sharing GVT’s vision that this remarkable and versatile vehicle will provide a transformation in affordable mobility for so many people where the need is most acute. 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, Executive Chairman, GMD 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. The OX is one of our most important engineering designs and it is certainly the vehicle of which I am most proud of, as its disruptive design has the potential to change the current mobility model and with Shell’s vision this vehicle could go on to improve so many people’s lives.”

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, uses 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 for while lowering CO2 emissions.