This Article is From Nov 28, 2015

After 5-Hour Energy, Indian-American Billionaire Backs Free Electricity

After 5-Hour Energy, Indian-American Billionaire Backs Free Electricity

A stationary bicycle that can generate electricity and help rural households meet their energy needs

New Delhi: Manoj Bhargava, the Indian-American billionaire philanthropist who shot to fame with his 5-Hour Energy drink, has unveiled a stationary bicycle that can generate electricity.

"The stationary bicycle generates power. The pedalling turns a flywheel, which spins a generator that charges the attached battery," Mr Bhargava, said while unveiling the product.

He further said the cycle is estimated to be priced between Rs 12,000-15,000 and will be available by March next year.

One hour of pedalling can meet a rural household's electricity needs for 24 hours, including running lights, a small fan and charging a cell phone -- all without electricity bills, fuel costs or pollution, a statement issued by him said.

Mr Bhargava said he had a discussion about the product with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"I had a discussion with Modiji about a year ago," he said.

Mr Bhargava was also not very enthusiastic about collaborating with government departments.

"...if I go to a government department...they are not bad people but efficiency is zero. Besides, it will take six months to decide which department of the government should help me out," he said.

Mr Bhargava said he will first start selling the product in Uttarakhand and later target rest of the domestic market.

He also said that Uttarakhand is a power surplus state but households face electricity shortages and this product can help them meet their basic requirements.

He added that the product will be manufactured in India at the facilities of some industrial houses, as well as in US.
The product would have one model where the user can also measure the calories burnt while using it.

These kind of products are especially useful for the 1.3 billion people around the world who do not have access to electricity, he said.

Mr Bhargava, whose net worth is estimated at $4 billion, has pledged 99 per cent of his fortune to finding solutions that can help people across the world.

Mr Bhargava also supports The Hans Foundation, one of the largest charitable organisations in India.