Frequently Asked Questions

Could tapping energy from the earth’s core have negative consequences to the planet?

Not at all. The entire earth is a ball of molten rock with a small crust on top. We’re not even scratching the surface. In fact, our work with graphene is simply a more efficient way to tap geothermal energy. The only difference is that we’re working on a solid-state heat transfer as opposed to using steam or liquid heat transfers, which operate with only 7-10% efficiency. With graphene’s properties, the heat transfer will be close to 100% efficient. Even in 100 million years, there would be no negative effect on the earth, no matter how much heat we harness.

Category: Energy

What is the status of the Free Electric pilot study?

The first shipment of Free Electric bikes left Farmington Hills, Michigan for our India pilot study in early March 2016. In mid-March 2016 the bikes were distributed at no charge to energy-poor households, schools, and small businesses in villages close to Lucknow, Amethi and Raebareli. Those recipients will gauge how well Free Electric works in the real world. We partnered with a local distributor and non-profit group to help with assembly, and to train others on how to assemble and troubleshoot the bike. We’re also conducting pre/post surveys with recipients to learn their perspectives on the benefits of the bike, as well as to get their feedback about how we can improve it. Once we have the results of the pilot we will make necessary improvements to the bike before beginning our scaled production.

Category: Energy

When and where can I buy Free Electric?

We intend to have two versions of the bike. One version, which we’re creating strictly for people in energy-poor regions of the world (beginning with India), will be priced quite low (up to 17,000 rupees, or $250 US). Manufacturing for that version will take place in Singapore and India beginning in late summer or early fall 2016. For people in wealthy countries who want the bike for exercise or who simply like the idea of generating their own power, the bike will have a few more bells and whistles, including a lithium-ion battery and more aesthetic features, and will be priced based on the market (likely $US 1,200 - $US 1,500). Manufacturing for that version will begin in mid-2016 in the United States. For every bike we sell in a wealthy country, one bike will be given to someone in a poor country. When pre-orders become available, we will make that announcement first to our volunteers who signed up prior to December 1, 2015, and then to all others who volunteered or signed up to receive updates.

Category: Energy

Why is the bike taking so long to get to market? I feel like I have been waiting forever.

Since October 2015 when we released the film we’ve been focused primarily on getting the processes and partnerships set up to begin production and distribution of Free Electric. In the meantime, we’ve also done a pretty significant design overhaul of the bike. (Check out the model shown in the film vs. how it looks today). Our goal was to make it as simple as possible to manufacture, assemble, and use, and that led us to testing out a few versions. Once we settled on the final model, we had to set up our production lines, which takes time. Bikes have a lot of parts. Free Electric uses 130 parts (which is relatively few compared to standard bicycles), and 80 of those are custom. So there was substantial tooling involved. Our first run of 25 bikes came off the line in late February 2016 and in early March they were shipped to India for pilot testing with a sample of households, schools, and small businesses that currently lack regular access to electricity. Once we get the results from those users, we’ll plan the larger rollout: first to India, and then to other parts of Asia and beyond.

Category: Energy

When and where will you be manufacturing the Free Electric bikes?

We’re in the process of setting up three manufacturing plants: one in Singapore and two in India. Because the Singapore plant will probably be up and running first—likely in the next few months—the bikes coming out of Singapore will be shipped to India until the Indian facilities are ready. We're aiming for production in India to begin sometime in early fall. Once India's production lines are running, the Indian plants will supply India, and we'll send the bikes being produced in Singapore to other regions of Southeast Asia that have expressed interest. Eventually, we could set up production lines anywhere in the world where there's sufficient infrastructure and the right distribution networks.

Category: Energy

Why did you manufacture the bikes for the India pilot in the US? Wouldn’t it have been better to make them in India?

We produced the 25 bikes for the India pilot at Stage 2 in Farmington Hills, Michigan as part of a project to build and test an optimal production line that could be replicated easily in other parts of the world. We’re now in the process of creating identical production lines at manufacturing facilities in India and Singapore, which will supply tens of thousands of bikes to India and other parts of Asia by the end of the year.

Category: Energy

How much electricity does Free Electric generate?

The amount of energy Free Electric generates in an hour depends on how hard you want to pedal, and also whether you’re simply charging the battery, or also running powered devices while pedaling. The 12-Volt battery that comes with the bike provides about 300 Watt-hours of electricity, and we estimate that the range of energy generation from easy pedaling to hard pedaling is about 50-200 Watts per hour. Each bike also comes with a kit that includes extension cords, and two 4-Watt LED light bulbs, each of which generates 400 lumens (equivalent to a 40-Watt incandescent bulb).

Category: Energy

How can I be involved with manufacturing and distribution?

We’re still in the process of creating production and distribution plans for the different regions in which we’ll be working, and we’ll announce any opportunities to be involved once those are in place.

Category: Energy

Is there a way for you to give me the instructions to build Free Electric myself so I don’t have to buy it?

While Free Electric is made mostly from standard bicycle parts, it also contains quite a few custom-made features that require precise tooling. Because of our strict standards for product quality standards, it is important that we oversee all manufacturing processes so that sub-standard products do not enter the market. For that reason, the production specifications will not be released at this time. Thank you for understanding.

Category: Energy

Will you have pricing flexibility in other countries?

Our plan is for the price in each country to be set based on the actual costs to manufacture and distribute, as well as on market demand and ability to pay.

Category: Energy

Can you ensure that child labor isn’t being used in your factories?

We use strict and thorough vetting criteria to evaluate all organizations and companies with which we may work. We then coordinate with trusted on-the-ground partners to oversee all production and distribution activities.

Category: GeneralEnergy

How can I volunteer with the pilot in India? Can I be part of the pilot program?

The India pilot is currently underway, and all field teams have been trained and staffed. As we move toward scaling with manufacturing and distribution, we will be sure to announce opportunities to get involved.

Category: Energy

I’d like to set up a gym with Free Electric. What do you think?

We think it’s an interesting idea. Setting up a gym with Free Electric is certainly feasible, but there may need to be some adjustments if you’re wanting to power more heavy duty appliances or electronics. This is something we’re currently looking into.

Category: Energy

What is the status of Limitless Energy?

We are still in the early stages of designing and testing the potential of graphene cords. We’ll make an announcement as soon as there is a newsworthy development.

Category: Energy