Billionaire Brings Free Electricity To A Billion People

For the 1.3 billion people who live without access to electricity, the Industrial Revolution never happened. Billionaire Manoj Bhargava wants to change that. “I focus on the fundamentals,” says Bhargava. “Nearly every issue in the world boils down to three issues: energy, water, and health,” he explains.

To that end, Bhargava founded Stage 2 Innovations, an invention shop that makes, develops, and refines practical products intended to help peoples’ lives around the world. Bhargava plans to deploy 10,000 bikes to India in 2016, with pilot tests commencing in Uttarakhand before a nationwide rollout.


One such product, called Free Electric, is a reclining hybrid stationary bicycle that generates electricity. Pedaling spins a flywheel, which powers a turbine generator, which charges a battery. An hour of pedaling will produce a day’s worth of power for a rural household—enough to provide lighting, run a small fan, and charge a mobile device. This electricity comes with no utility bill, generates zero pollution, and produces no waste.

“Free Electric is made from regular bicycle parts,” which Bhargava says is essential to its usefulness. “If something goes wrong, anyone who knows anything about bikes will be able to fix it.”


Client Summary: Billions in Change is a movement founded by billionaire philanthropist Manoj Bhargava, creator of 5-hour Energy.

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