A Japanese zero-emission "hybrid" scooter to be released next year runs 10 times as economically as a petrol engine bike and can be assisted by human pedal power, its maker said Thursday.
The Miletto, developed by auto equipment maker PROSTAFF Co. Ltd., will make its debut at 156,900 yen (1,730 dollars) in 12 colours, the company said.
"It normally runs with battery power, but on a steep hill the rider would work the pedals to assist," said Ryo Teranishi, a planning official for the company, which is based in the central Japanese city of Ichinomiya.
"It's a zero-emission vehicle in itself but this hybrid of an electric motor and manpower makes it even more environmentally friendly," he told AFP.
With a single charge, which takes between two and four hours, the Miletto can run 35 kilometres (22 miles) on a flat road without pedalling.
That means it can travel three kilometres on one yen (one cent), roughly 10 times as economical as a conventional scooter, the company said.
The company has no specific plans at the moment to sell the scooter abroad.
(c) 2009 AFP
Explore further: US risks losing clean electricity if nuclear plants keep closing, report says