Ford Motor Company has approached Israeli water-from-air company Watergen to collaborate with the giant American car manufacturer on its off-grid recreational vehicles.
The project will result in Watergen’s Mobile Box, the world’s first vehicle on-board water generating system, to be pre-installed on Ford vehicles. Watergen’s innovative Mobile Box device is the world’s first vehicle on-board drinking system capable of extracting clean water from ambient air. The generator made its world debut on the Ford Ranger pick-up at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas last weekend. The SEMA show regularly attracts more than 70,000 OEM and Tier One suppliers from around the world.
Founded in 2009, Watergen develops and manufactures a number of water generators including the Gen-M, the Gen-L model, a large atmospheric water generator that can produce up to 5,000 liters (1,320 gallons) of clean water per day, and the Gen-M Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV), which transports Watergen units in emergency situations and natural disasters. Last year, Watergen also rolled out the “Genny,” an at-home water generator capable of producing between 25-30 liters (6.6-7.9 gallons) of water per day as well as the Solar Genny, a generator powered by solar panels.
The company is headed by Michael Mirilashvili, a Russian-Israeli billionaire who is the current CEO and president of Watergen.
The collaboration with Ford underlines Watergen’s ambition to become a global automotive supplier, the joint announcement said.
The Mobile Box can generate up to 25 liters per day of fresh drinking water removing the need to carry bottled water and reducing plastic waste, according to the statement. The unit simply needs a 12V power supply and access to fresh air to produce the highest quality drinking water.
Ford will mount the Mobile Box unit, which is fitted with sturdy wheels for ease of transport, on the flat bed of the Ranger where it will occupy minimal space due to its compact dimensions (630 x 530 x 460 mm). Its portability means that fresh water is always available – whether on a road trip, camping, or working in the outdoors. The Mobile Box device is equipped with replaceable filters and a mineralization system to ensure a constant and reliable supply of the highest quality drinking water.
The ability to produce clean drinking water without relying on an external water source is a gamechanger for those who seek off-grid adventure, the companies said. Due to its compact design, the Watergen Mobile Box system can be mounted externally on various types of vehicles, including trucks, trailers, buses, RVs, motorhomes and all modes of luxury land and sea transport, and at only 30kg, the impact on fuel consumption is minimal. All the system requires for optimal water production is access to fresh air, a temperature between 59–113°F and 20-99% humidity.
After SEMA, the Ford Ranger fitted with Watergen’s Mobile Box will embark on a 12-month tour of the United States in collaboration with Outside magazine, where journalists and members of the public will be able to explore the world’s first vehicle on-board drinking system capable of extracting clean water from air using Watergen’s technologies, the companies said.