Could it be a world-changer? A cheap solution to help African kids get to schools and clinics? Israel’s Izhar Gafni (who we interviewed here) had an outlandish idea to create a durable cardboard bike from scratch with raw materials sum totalling about $9. Add in some labor costs and you can get a pretty cheap ride, one worth buying in a world where bike theft is rampant.
News reports are circling around the world that Gafni’s cardboard bike (see photos here) is headed to market. No doubt after articles and videos about his project infected the world’s media. Reuters is reporting:
“When we started, a year and a half or two years ago, people laughed at us, but now we are getting at least a dozen emails every day asking where they can buy such a bicycle, so this really makes me hopeful that we will succeed,” he said.
Hus business partner Nimrod Elmish, Gafni’s business partner says that by using cardboard and other recycled materials there can be a huge change in production norms. Companies could get grants and rebates for local production, offering no real reason to make them in poor and cheap labor markets.
At a cost of about $20, and made on automated production lines, the workforce could employ pensioners and the disabled, while the business model he has penned could work a lot like Tom’s shoes, which gives away a free pair of shoes for every pair sold to a western buyer.
Estimated to last 10 years, the cardboard bike will also weigh two-thirds the weight of a regular bike. If it breaks or melts you can recycle it and buy a new one.
Millions of people are emailing us for Izhar Gafni’s cardboard bike contacts. Please reach out to him via his Facebook page. Ride on Gafni! We are rooting for you.