Sanyo rolls electric bicycles into US market

Jan 08, 2010
Japanese electronics giant Sanyo Electric displays a truck with solar panels for charging electric powered bicycles in Tokyo in December 2009. Eneloop "pedal-assist" bicycles that had been exclusively available in Japan made a US debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Japanese electric bicycle titan Sanyo thinks that notoriously car-loving folks in the United States are prime for peddle power.

Eneloop "peddle-assist" bicycles that had been exclusively available in Japan made a US debut at the in Las Vegas, where attendees go to saddle-up and ride in a carpeted casino hotel ballroom.

"We think of it as an electric vehicle," David Politis of Sanyo North America said before letting AFP take one for a spin.

"It is designed for people who want to commute to work and not be sweaty or who want to get back on the bike for the first time and may be out of shape, or even a mom who needs a little help peddling to keep up with the kids."

A "dynamotor" built into the hub of the front wheel charges a bicycle's battery when it is cruising downhill or a rider is braking.

The motor kicks in when a rider peddles, providing a virtual wind at one's back and making inclines feel more like flat terrain. Each bicycle have three gears changed with twists of a handlebar grip.

Three is a power boost mode for daunting uphill climbs.

Eneloop bicycles weigh in at 50 pounds (23 kilograms) each and the luxury of sweat-free peddling comes with a steep 2,300-dollar (US) price tag.

"Sanyo thinks it is clear that energy consciousness and environmental awareness continue to grow around the world," Politis said.

"We have to do something to break US dependence on foreign oil."

Most car trips in the US are less than five miles (eight kilometers), and cars pump out the bulk of polluting gases in the first 20 miles (32 kilometers) of a trip, according to statistics cited by Sanyo.

China is reported to be the top market in the world for electric bicycles, with India ranking second and Europe taking the third spot.

Sanyo is the world's top maker of rechargeable batteries, many used in cars or trucks.

Explore further: Many tongues, one voice, one common ambition

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Panasonic completes Sanyo acquisition

Dec 21, 2009

(AP) -- Panasonic Corp. said Monday that it had taken majority control of Sanyo Electric Co., officially forming one of the world's largest electronics makers.

Panasonic, Sanyo win EU takeover approval

Sep 29, 2009

(AP) -- Panasonic Corp. and Sanyo Electric Co. must sell off a European plant that makes batteries to win EU antitrust approval for the $9 billion deal creating one of the world's biggest electronics makers, the EU said ...

Japan's Panasonic wins control of ailing Sanyo

Dec 10, 2009

Panasonic Corp. announced Thursday it had secured a controlling stake in smaller rival Sanyo Electric Co. in a 4.6-billion-dollar takeover that revamps Japan's troubled electronics industry.

Panasonic plans home-use storage cell

Dec 23, 2009

Panasonic Corp., which recently made a successful takeover bid for Sanyo Electric Co., plans to market a lithium-ion storage cell for home use around fiscal 2011.

Biking 2.0: MIT's big wheel in Copenhagen (w/ Video)

Dec 16, 2009

Yesterday, Dec. 15, at the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change, MIT researchers debuted the Copenhagen Wheel -- a revolutionary new bicycle wheel that not only boosts power, but can keep track of friends, ...

Zero-emission scooter to debut in Japan

Oct 29, 2009

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.

Recommended for you

Many tongues, one voice, one common ambition

12 hours ago

There is much need to develop energy efficient solutions for residential buildings in Europe. The EU-funded project, MeeFS, due to be completed by the end of 2015, is developing an innovative multifunctional and energy efficient ...

Panasonic, Tesla to build big US battery plant

13 hours ago

(AP)—American electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. is teaming up with Japanese electronics company Panasonic Corp. to build a battery manufacturing plant in the U.S. expected to create 6,500 jobs.

Simulation models optimize water power

14 hours ago

The Columbia River basin in the Pacific Northwest offers great potential for water power; hydroelectric power stations there generate over 20 000 megawatts already. Now a simulation model will help optimize the operation ...

Charging electric cars efficiently inductive

14 hours ago

We already charge our toothbrushes and cellphones using contactless technology. Researchers have developed a particularly efficient and cost-effective method that means electric cars could soon follow suit.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Doug_Huffman
not rated yet Jan 08, 2010
"...the hub of the front wheel charges a bicycle's battery when it is cruising downhill or a rider is braking."

Power, Watts or Horsepower, is moment times rate. Braking or decelerating is significant only relative to puny human power.

I stopped counting bicycle miles at 50,000. My current HPV ride cost $US 6K.

Who fails to do arithmetic is doomed to nonsense.