(Reuters) - A bicycle made almost entirely of cardboard has the potential to change transportation habits from the world's most congested cities to the poorest reaches of Africa, its Israeli inventor says.Izhar Gafni, 50, is an expert in designing automated mass-production lines. He is an amateur cycling enthusiast who for years toyed with an idea of making a bicycle from cardboard.He told Reuters during a recent demonstration that after much trial and error, his latest prototype has now proven itself and mass production will begin in a few months."I was always fascinated by applying unconventional technologies to materials and I did this on several occasions. But this was the culmination of a few things that came together. I worked for four years to cancel out the corrugated cardboard's weak structural points," Gafni said."Making a cardboard box is easy and it can be very strong and durable, but to make a bicycle was extremely difficult and I had to find the right way to fold the cardboard in several different directions. It took a year and a half, with lots of testing and failure until I got it right," he said.
Weighing approximately fifteen pounds (compared to twenty for normal bikes) and given tires that will never puncture and are also recycled, this could be a world-changing event. Gafni says he plans to use a business model that will allow him to pay employees and still make the bikes for free or near that. He hopes retailers will keep the price at around $20 to encourage use and get the technology out there. Poor countries and big cities can both benefit from this, and for those who hate to pedal the unit can be customized to work with a rechargeable motor.
How awesome is that?