Sanyo, a giant Japan-based company has opened two solar parking lots in Tokyo. These solar-powered panels can charge about 100 electric hybrid bicycles. Using lithium-ion batteries, the system has enough power left over to also illuminate the parking lot with LED lights at night.
According to Sanyo Electric Co, the leader in solar and other alternative energy technologies, the concept is a “completely independent and clean system eliminating the use of fossil fuels”. The company also said that the charging points rely on rooftop photovoltaic panels that also work on rainy days.
Equipped with electric outlets to power external equipment in an emergency, the two lots were set up near commuter train lines in Tokyo’s Setagaya ward, where the cycles will be parked for community use.
The Eneloop “peddle-assist” bike has a “dynamotor” built into the hub of the front wheel, which charges a battery when the rider is braking or when the bicycle is cruising downhill. When the rider peddles, the bicycle’s electric motor kicks in, propels the bike with the stored power, and makes uphills feel more like flat terrain.