Ultra low-cost transportation doesn't have a particularly successful history in the recent past. Just ask Tata. The company's Nano subcompact was supposed to revolutionize the way low-income families the world over moved themselves, but as it turns out, even those with no money don't want to be seen in a vehicle known primarily for its cheapness. Even so, one company is working to give rural Africans a shot at changing their lives with a new low-cost SUV. Nairobi-based Mobius Motors wants to build an machine capable of handling the inhospitable roads of the continent's interior for just $6,000 – a price it says is similar to the auto rickshaw.

How? Mobius has sacrificed niceties like air conditioning and glass side windows to keep the cost as low as possible. As a result, the company's engineers have managed to craft a machine with nearly 14 inches of ground clearance and beefy skid plates underneath. There's no word on what's under the hood, though the company's first effort, the Mobius One, made use of a Toyota 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Mobius Motors says the interior can be configured to haul either people or 1,100 pounds of cargo. Not too shabby. Look for the Mobius Two to launch this year, and let's hope its emissions prove less harmful than the rickshaws Mobius hopes to replace.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 13 Comments
      Anne
      • 2 Years Ago
      I struggle to consider this an 'SUV'. Isn't this simply a 4x4 or offroad vehicle?
      Marcopolo
      • 2 Years Ago
      It had to happen eventually ! After 1000 posts with the same comment, Dan F is right ! Exactly how the environment is assisted by the mass production of a crude, dangerous, but cheap fossil fuel vehicle to further destroy African roads, decimate wildlife, pollute the atmosphere, be considered green (or even beneficial) ? The whole thing sounds like one of those appallingly disastrous USSR aid programs of the sixties. The African continent has enough disasters, without this sort of rubbish.
        Dave
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        I have bad news for you- Nothing on this blog is green. All of these vehicles produce pollution throughout their existence.
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dave
          @ Dave, Depends on how you define 'green'.
      American Refugee
      • 2 Years Ago
      i'll stick to the Lada Niva.
        Peter
        • 2 Years Ago
        @American Refugee
        The Niva is the same idea of course, 1.6l engine, 2535.3 lbs (1150 kg), we had them here in Canada in the 90's or so, but not at this price!
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Years Ago
      I struggle to find any perspective from which this could possibly be considered green : )
        Dave
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        It uses massively less energy and resources to build than a Nissan Leaf.
        Peter
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        When DF is correct I will try to remember to encourage him. It will be a light and simple 4x4 (hence have less chance of getting stuck) but only be green if it displaces the now very portly and poluting Land Rover as the NGO vehicle of choice.
        BipDBo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        It's for off-road driving, so it will drive over bushes and small trees, which are green.
      amtoro
      • 2 Years Ago
      UAZ-469 anyone?
      American Refugee
      • 2 Years Ago
      I could pick a nice used one up for about two grand here. As a weekend runabout, I'm tempted, but I don't know if I could live with putting that much crap into the air. Still, they are awesome!
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