The Mobius One car or SUV seems like a good idea borne out of a need to help make life a little easier for people who have to travel for miles on foot to “access basic life supplies and services such clean drinking water, farming inputs, schools, hospitals and jobs.”
Imagine if like the access to and proliferation of moblie phones across the continent, Africa is able to provide affordable cars that can cope with the heat and untarred roads whilst getting people to where they want to go to safely and more quickly?
That is where Mobius One, a Kenya-based company comes in and this is how they describe what they are doing – “To serve African market demand we re-imagine the car. We heavily simplify our product by excluding costly technologies such as air con, interior fixtures and even glass windows while maximising function with relevant suspension, handling and storage. We also simplify our process by integrating off-the-shelf parts within a durable and safe tubular steel frame. The result, a vehicle with the key functionality of an off-road car (fit for travelling long distances on bumpy dirt roads) sold at a similar price point to the ubiquitous urban 3-wheel motorised rickshaw, which cannot travel long distances effectively.”
My only gripe with this car is, it must be very boring indeed with every mod con including air condition removed. With its sharp looking edges it does look like the toy cars I built with my friends using milk tins as child. At an estimated cost of $10,000 though and with a promise to make it rugged enough to tackle the challenges of rural African driving, I think this is not a bad idea.
The indigenous car manufacturing industry is almost non existent and reliance on expensive foreign alternatives that are not built with rural African driving and pot holed city roads in mind aren’t exactly triggers for economic growth. Sacrificing some aesthetics and comfort for more functionality at a more affordable price could be a winner.
The Mobius One – The Video and Building the SUV: click Africa Forum
Images: Mobius One