Tokyo: Wednesday, April 22, 2009 — The Japanese firm Sanyo announced that it had released a hybrid bicycle, which is powered by an Eneloop battery.
The SY-SPG226 has broad wheels, a large front basket and a rack at the rear to carry extra large items. Its range is 85 kilometres, however the battery re-charges when the rider coasts down hills. The bike is not specifically called a “men’s” bike, as it has no crossbar.
The Japanese government eased its laws on the power of electric-powered bicycles at the end of last year, which makes ebikes more attractive because they are allowed to go faster. The electric motor allows a ratio of motor to pedal power of two to one.
The number of electric powered bicycles sold in Japan grew 20 percent in 2008. The reasons for this are two fold – in reaction to higher fuel prices, and also because consumers see them as greener than motorbikes.
Sanyo’s competition consists of Yamaha, Bridgestone and Panasonic. Panasonic is on pace to acquire Sanyo later this year.