Sanyo has announced the eneloop hybrid electric bicycle. Ã‚Â What’s really unique about this bike versus other electric assisted bikes is that it captures energy from the wheels when braking or coasting, recharging the batteries in the process much like hybrid cars. Ã‚Â This gives the bike a much longer range per watt.
The bike offers a “Power-up Mode” assist ratio of up to 2:1, or double the rider’s pedal effort. Ã‚Â The bike uses a “two wheel drive” system in that the motor powers the front wheel while the rider powers the rear wheel.
Initially it will only be available in Japan starting in February 2009, but international sales are likely to follow. Ã‚Â MSRP will be about Ã‚Â¥130,000 (roughly $1,400).