The Ox, a slab-sided, flatpack vehicle designed to bring mobility to the developing world, just took one step closer to reality. Oil giant Shell announced recently that it would commission a pre-production prototype of the Ox that it will then bring to India to assist in outreach programs.
The Ox first came on the scene in 2016. It was the brainchild of Torquil Norman, a philanthropist who runs the Global Vehicle Trust, and Gordon Murray, the South African engineer who helped create the McLaren F1.
The truck is absurdly simple to assemble: its designers claim that three people can break it down into 60 parts in just 12 hours. This allows the Ox to be shipped cheaply to developing nations, where aid workers can use it to transport water, grain, fertilizer, and building materials. The boxy truck can seat 13 people and carry up to 4,100 pounds of cargo. Its engine is the diesel from a Ford Transit.
And thanks to Shell, the Ox may finally see the light of day. “The Ox is one of our most important engineering designs and it is certainly the vehicle of which I am most proud of,” Murray said in a statement, “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.”