5-Hour Energy Inventor to Bring Free Energy to the Poor, Donate Billions

5-Hour Energy Inventor to Bring Free Energy to the Poor, Donate Billions

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If this billionaire’s plan to power remote Indian villages through stationary bike pedaling catches on—well, they actually won’t need a whole lot of his 5-Hour Energy Drink.

Manoj Bhargava became a billionaire almost overnight thanks to those little energy-infused shots, and now, he’s eager to give away 99 percent of his fortune to help others.

He’s starting with a plan to bring a special kind of stationary bike to impoverished regions, one that converts human energy into electricity capable of lighting an entire household.

With just one hour of pedaling, the bikes will generate enough energy to power a home all day and night.

The bikes were developed by Bhargava’s Stage 2 Innovations lab in Farmington, Michigan. They cost about $100 apiece, and work by spinning a turbine to create electricity that’s stored in a built-in battery.

The lab will test 50 of the bikes in villages across northern India early next year.

The bikes aren’t the only philanthropic innovation being developed by Bhargava’s team. As seen in the new free documentary “Billions in Change,” Stage 2 Innovations is also figuring out how to make saltwater drinkable, find ways to develop cheap and clean geothermal power, and improve health outcomes for the poor.

This Lamp Light Burns All Night Powered Only by a Glass of Saltwater

“If you have wealth, it’s a duty to help those who don’t,” Bhargava says in the film.

Bhargava funded the lab after signing the Giving Pledge created by billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, who have collected promises from nearly 140 wealthy families pledging to donate 99% of their millions to charity.

(WATCH the video below or READ more at National Geographic)

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