Tokyo, Japan: An electric hybrid bicycle is the latest entry in Sanyo’s eneloop universe (see the figure). The eneloop bike is designed to be, and claimed as, the industry’s first to conform to the newest standards, offering up a “Power-up Mode” assist ratio of up to 1:2, which makes riding the bicycle more comfortable. A new “loop charge function” generates electricity and charges the battery while in use, and a “two-wheel drive system” provides a safer, more stable ride.
The eneloop universe, conceived in 2006, stresses “looping energy,” or a lifestyle of reusing and recycling. The bike fits right into this mold by simultaneously generating, recharging, and conserving clean and reusable energy—energy is generated by the rider, recharging the auxiliary battery and conserving the energy from the main battery and the rider.
In regards to standards conformance, Japan’s Cabinet Office enforced a regulation on December 1, 2008 that revises the drive assist ratio for the motor drive-assisted bicycles, which is provided in the road traffic law-enforcement regulations. The ratio of motor power to human power (assist ratio) now becomes 1:2 in a low-speed area of less than 10 km/h.
The eneloop bike is scheduled to go on sale in Japan in early February 2009.