Interbike: Sanyo launching electric bike in U.S.

US$2,299 hybrid pedal-assist model coming November

Beginning in November 2009, Sanyo will sell its US$2,299 hybrid pedal-assist electric bicycle called the eneloop through independent bicycle dealers and specialty retailers in the US, the company announced at Interbike today.

The 50-pound bike comes in one standard size with 26-inch wheels and a three-speed internal chain-powered drivetain. The step-through frame is based on Sanyo's popular Japanese model. The term 'eneloop' comes from energy+looping.

"Americans are becoming more aware of the environmental concerns, and Sanyo feels its new eneloop bicycle is one solution," said David Cabanban, Sanyo's North American bicycle business manager. "The U.S. is also the best place to promote Sanyo's eneloop bike ability to generate and reuse its own energy. 

"We also view everyone as a potential customer, not just the dedicated bicyclist," he added.

The Sanyo eneloop offers three assist modes -- Standard, Power-up or Auto -- where the front hub-based motor helps propel the bicycle and rider forward.

The torque-sensing Power Management Controller within the regenerative electrical system automatically adjusts to differences in terrain. The loop charging system works when coasting or braking, providing up to 40 miles per charge in full Auto pedal assist mode. According to Sanyo, this increases battery use capacity up to 1.18 times per charge.

Features on the Sanyo eneloop bike include:

  • 250-watt DC brushless motor
  • 25.9-volt/5.7-amp lithion-ion battery
  • Charge time is 3.5 hours
  • Internally-routed cables
  • Flashing LED tail light flashes faster when braking
  • 26-inch wheels
  • 3-speed

Sanyo also described its solar-powered charging station plans for the U.S., similar to those already in place in Japan.

According to Sanyo, more than 23 million electric bikes were sold worldwide in 2008, and forecasts are predicting sales will more than double by 2012.

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