Basic Utility Vehicle
Institute for Affordable Transportation
- We strive to make the motor vehicle as SIMPLE as possible. It must be easy to build, easy to repair, and easy to use.
- Commercial Intent – It must have a very high payload to weight ratio. We view it as a COMMERCIAL vehicle, geared toward business.
- We want reliable parts that are easy to obtain….so we use automotive parts. We concentrate our automotive parts in the cargo-bed area where loads are high. We expect the chassis to last 15 years in rural Africa (where 5 years is the norm)
- We use an air-cooled diesel engine: We use the most POPULAR compact air-cooled diesel in the world. The engine has electric start and the safety of pull start as well.
- We use common materials such as mild steel and local wood.
- We value and emphasize safety in design. We constantly think about of how the vehicle gets used in real life (this goes well beyond its intended use as a cargo vehicle).
- We greatly value input from end-users, field trials, and prospective customers.
- We pivot as we learn. Our vehicle has evolved through several designs over the last 20 years, each more capable than its predecessor.
- We design with ease of manufacturing in mind. Straight cuts and simple angles are valued over flowing contours and good looks. Brawn over beauty.
- We design with an eye toward small farmers and what rural transport service provides.
- We esteem the owner-operator and want them to be successful. How can we make them the most successful via vehicle design?
- If anything is not critical to the functioning of the vehicle, it is designated as an an “option” or it is removed from the vehicle.
- We aim to offer two different capacity models from one vehicle platform design (similar to Ford F150 and F350 pickup product line).