Manoj Bhargava, CEO of Living Essentials, known for its 5-hour Energy drinks, aims to empower the powerless by electricity into each and every home. According to Bhargava, half the world – the poor half – has either no access to electricity at all, or severely limited access to it. This translates into little or no access to lights, refrigeration and media devices, and little chance of escaping from poverty.
This is where Free Electric comes in, giving individuals and communities the ability to generate unlimited electricity by themselves, without producing any pollution. When a person pedals one of the Free Electric bicycles, the wheel drives a flywheel, which turns a generator – the electricity generated is then stored in a battery. The bike is easy to maintain as it was designed to be easily repairable by regular bike mechanics, using regular bike parts.
The product will first be launched in villages in Uttar Pradesh, a north Indian state. The significance of this is that Bhargava was born in the capital city of this state, Lucknow, and moved to the United States later as a child. He believes in giving back by inventing useful things that can improve people’s lives, and his Billions in Change movement aims “to save the world by creating and implementing solutions to the most basic global problems – water, energy and health.”
Are there any drawbacks? According to Bhargava, “The only side effect is that users get stronger and healthier.”