The long term goal for the OX
The Global Vehicle Trust (GVT) has a long-term vision:
“Changing lives through a revolution in all-terrain mobility”
The OX has been developed to realise that vision. In order to deliver the OX successfully and avoid long-term charitable funding, the OX project will eventually evolve as a commercial business to enable the successful delivery of the OX’s humanitarian goal with the commercial success directly supporting the charitable mission.
GVT has been set up by the Norman Trust charity and is running this not-for-profit crowdfunding campaign on its behalf to enable the journey of the OX to continue. Conceived by one of the UK's leading philanthropists, Sir Torquil Norman, who is recognised for his charitable work with disadvantaged young people, the Norman Trust has contributed significant funding to the OX project to reach its current stage.
In order to take the next step in the OX journey and make the OX a production reality, we need to show that the OX can perform in the harshest of environments. We will prove that the OX can change lives in Africa, and provide a step change in mobility for millions of people around the world.
The Norman Trust‘s and GVT’s partners have agreed to support this project on a not-for-profit basis, as they too believe in the vision for the OX, and we have had significant offers of help and support from the public and industry since the OX was launched in October 2016. Gordon Murray Design (GMD) are an automotive technology company and the design team behind the OX, which uses GMD’s iStream® technology. GMD are a commercial entity but are supporting the OXtoAfrica project on a not-for-profit basis.
Given our vision and mission for this next phase; we need your HELP. We want to involve You, giving You the opportunity to sponsor and contribute to help take the OX on the next stage of its journey and help the millions of people around the world who don’t have access to mobility.
If you would like to sponsor the OX and have your name or your company (or organisation’s) name on the OX, when we take it to Africa, then please take a look at our sponsorship options on the page. If you love the OX like we do, then please give. There are many ‘Money Can’t Buy’ rewards which will take the #OXtoAfrica.
Across the developing world, and Africa in particular, there is an intense need for improved transport both for everyday living as well as emergencies. Even though 15% of the world’s population lives in Africa, there has never been a vehicle specifically designed and manufactured in volume to meet the rigours of the continent.
Food, water, medicine, schools and transport are dependent for their daily needs on unreliable vehicles and uncertain availability. The vehicles that are available are often designed for quite different purposes, are too heavy, too complicated and unsuited to local conditions.
In 2011, The Norman Trust approached world renowned automotive engineer Gordon Murray with an idea - and the OX project was born.
The solution - the OX
The OX is a highly unconventional ‘flat-pack’ all-terrain light truck, which will benefit people living in remote villages and townships across Africa and other parts of the developing world.
The OX is.....
- A vehicle that will provide mobility for rural areas in developing countries with poor infrastructure
- Lightweight, rugged and durable to maximise payload for goods and people
- Capable of operating in adverse terrain and hostile conditions
- Low cost, designed for simple maintenance with fewer parts
- Designed for self-assembly using simple procedures and instructions
- Supplied fully assembled or flat-packed for easy shipping and local assembly
What we've done so far
The Trust and Gordon Murray Design (GMD) have spent approximately £3 million bringing the OX to the working prototype stage.
Preliminary engineering design, extensive component selection, benchmarking and testing was undertaken by GMD to increase confidence that the OX will cope with all of the environments that it is likely to be put to work in.
The prototyping stage of the OX development has seen three versions built: XP1, XP2 and XP3.
The OX was launched to the public, in October 2016. The response and support has been incredible, confirming the need for the vehicle and its potential impact.
The journey isn't finished - what we still need to do
The three OX prototypes that we have already built have completed a significant amount of testing in the UK and in Spain and have performed incredibly well. However, as with all vehicle development programmes, the testing has highlighted modifications that need to be made ahead of it being fully ready for use in Africa and future production.
With your help, and we can achieve our stretch target the 'OX to Africa' project will enable the OX team to make these necessary improvements and then test them in Africa.
Powertrain package modifications
- Minor modifications to engine, gearbox and component package to resolve a number of clearance, damage and packaging issues identified during the first phase of testing
- Aim: to improve the long term durability of the OX and reduce repair costs
- Installation and testing of a new gearbox with revised gear ratios more suited to off-road and African conditions
- Aim: to improve overall performance
Modified cooling system
- Modification and testing of the OX cooling system. Testing required at higher temperatures that will be experienced in Africa
- Aim: to improve cooling and engine performance
- Modifications to the OX steering system to improve performance and durability as a result of minor issues identified during the first phase of testing
- Aim: to improve steering feel and durability
Increase vehicle length by 200mm
- Modify the design of the OX frame to increase overall length and wheelbase by 200mm, improving weight distribution and off-road performance still further – will not be included on the crowdfunded prototype
- Aim: improve vehicle weight distribution and off-road performance.
Frame and component improvements
- Series of small modifications to the frame and suspension components to resolve minor issues found during Phase 1 testing and create a production level design
- Aim: mature the current prototype design to a production level solution
- Updates to the interior design to include headrests, production level seatbelts, and interior trim based on test results and customer feedback
- Aim: improve the interior design so it is better to use and test it in Africa with the future customers
Engine calibration development
- Development of the engine calibration performance to improve driveability and performance
- Aim: improve the way the OX drives and performs ahead of testing in Africa
A critical next step is to prove to potential production partners that the OX will have a significant impact and improve lives.
In 2018, with your support and once the development changes are complete, we plan to take the OX to Africa to undertake tests that will prove it can meet its design brief.
Rigorous in-field testing will enable the OX development team to present clear evidence to prospective vehicle manufacturing partners that this is a credible product and a viable project.
Vehicle manufacturers will quickly recognise that partnering OX will be a clear demonstration of their commitment to global corporate social responsibility.
On a smaller scale, philanthropists looking to address humanitarian issues will have the opportunity to directly fund a whole vehicle project that can make a real difference in the developing world.
How you can help us through the next stage
Our campaign is broken down into a couple of stages, and through your support we hope to be able to do the following:
Stage 1 - Preliminary target - £450,000
This will enable us to make critical engineering changes and updates to one of our existing vehicles and take it to Africa for testing.
Stage 2 - Secondary target - £900,000
If, through the crowd's generosity, we are able to achieve more than our preliminary target, we have the opportunity to take things a stage further. This additional funding would allow us to complete all the detailed engineering changes and updates on the OX, deliver some of the required system testing and extensively modify one of our existing vehicles to the latest design and take it to Africa.
This vehicle will then also be sent to Africa and used to demonstrate the OX's capabilities for charities and NGOs (we hope the crowd will be able to help us choose our testing partners as we progress).
We have some fantastic money-can't-buy rewards, and some other surprises which we will reveal as the campaign moves along.
We hope the support from the crowd will enable us to continue the journey of the OX, and take another significant step towards making a huge impact on the lives of millions of people around the world.
Additonal background information
The Norman Trust was set up as a charity in 1986 by Sir Torquil Norman to help young people and to donate to other causes and charities. In 1996 the Norman Trust purchased the Roundhouse, the famous railway engine shed in Camden, to re-create it as a performance venue and space that could be used to enhance the lives of young people and encourage a wide range of creative activity. In 2006 the Roundhouse reopened after completion of a £30 million rebuilding and equipping programme. Since then it has grown steadily and has become an iconic space for young people of all ages and backgrounds.
In 2011 the Norman Trust appointed the world-renowned automotive designer Gordon Murray of Gordon Murray Design to develop the OX, an all-terrain flat-packed vehicle, with the aim of transforming mobility in developing countries. There is a huge need for such a vehicle as only around 20% of the world’s population currently has access to a motor vehicle. In 2013 the Norman Trust set up the Global Vehicle Trust (the GVT) to manage this development and the transition of the OX from prototype to production.
Gordon Murray Design Limited (GMD) is a British company operating from Shalford, Surrey. The Company is recognised as a world leader in automotive design and reverses the current industry trend for sub-contracting by having a complete in-house capability for design, prototyping and development. The Company is compact and focused and undertakes automotive and other engineering programmes in an efficient and innovative way. GMD’s business model involves commercialisation of its patented iStream® assembly process. GMD have already agreed favourable commercial terms with the Norman Trust and GVT to support the longterm commercial and humanitarian aims for the OX.