Sanyo Opens Solar-Charging Bike Lots
Original Source: http://www.sustainablelifemedia.com
Original Publication Date: March 18, 2010
March 18, 2010 – Japanese Electronics manufacturer Sanyo announced this week that they have opened 2 solar powered parking lots in Tokyo, in close proximity to commuter train stations, where 100 of the company’s “Eneloop” hybrid-electric bicycles can be recharged using rooftop solar panels.
At each station, Sanyo has equipped the roof with 36 210W solar panels, which will provide enough power to charge all 100 bikes without using any fossil fuels for a secondary energy supply, and should provide significant charging capabilities even on rainy days. The lots are also equipped with lithium ion batterieswhich are used to power high-efficiency LED lights, illuminating the charging lot at night. External outlets have also been installed to power other electrical equipment in the event of an emergency.
Sanyo’s eneloop bicycle is not fully electric, but is referred to as “peddle-assisted.” The front hub has a motor built into it, which can charge the battery through regenerative braking and also when cruising down hills. The motor gets to work when the rider begins pedaling, turning flat terrain into downhills and uphills into flat terrain. It even includes a power boost for particularly steep inclines.
Sanyo has provided the 100 bicycles for community use, and at $2,000 each, there are some concerns about theft. It is unclear at this time what steps the company has taken to discourage theft or vandalism.