Published May 15, 2013
Talk about a special delivery.
A British philanthropist has built the world’s first flat-pack truck.
Automotive World reports that Sir Torquil Norman’s Global Vehicle Trust developed the simple, low-cost vehicle to service emerging markets in Africa and Asia.
The boxy, compact pickup can be disassembled in less than six hours and have all of its parts, including the four-cylinder diesel engine and independent suspension, stored within the confines of its chassis, allowing six of them to fit in a standard shipping container. Three people can then reassemble it in about 12 hours upon delivery. No special tools are required.
Shorter in length than most compact cars, the tough little front-wheel-drive truck can reportedly carry 4400 pounds and ford water two and a half feet deep. Configured for passengers, thirteen people will fit on board, including three in the front cabin. The driver sits in the middle allowing the vehicle to be used in right and left hand drive countries without requiring any extensive reengineering.
Norman says his group spent $1.5 million to build the prototype, but needs $4.6 million more to get it ready for production. He hopes to sell the vehicles to other non-profit charities and aid organizations who will distribute them throughout the developing world.
The price of the vehicle has not been determined, but the goal is to keep it as low as possible. A similar low-cost truck concept proposed by Kenya’s Mobius Motors has a target price of $6,000.