Japan gets solar parking spot for electric bikes


Electric bikes are becoming more and more popular in Japan as top electronics brands such as Panasonic, Toshiba and Yamaha are rolling out new models monthly.

In December last year, Sanyo announced an electric bike and said it may even be exported to overseas markets soon. Today, the company said [JP] that from March on, the local government of Tokushima Prefecture in Southern Japan will get three Sanyo eneloop bikes and the electricity they need from a special solar parking spot.

Sanyo, which runs a battery factory in the prefecture, says the solar parking station is fully automatic. It mainly consists of 3 units of Sanyo’s proprietary HIT solar panels (Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin layer, 210W each) and boasts an annual energy production of 690kWh. In the case of an emergency, an emergency electric supply unit makes sure that the bikes are usable.

Civil servants in Tokushima are free to use the bikes for work-related drives. Sanyo said they aim at making Tokushima a hub for green power innovations.