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Sanyo’s ‘eneloop bike’ runs on batteries and foot power

California Center for Sustainable Energy to use the bike to demonstrate how residents and businesses can save energy

Heather Haroff models the eneloop bike at the California Center for Sustainable Energy.

Though it is pricey at $2,299.99, Sanyo North America Corp.’s eneloop bike demonstrates how electric-hybrid transportation can be used to help the environment. The company, a subsidiary of Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd., has donated the bike to the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) for its educational programs. The nonprofit organization helps residents, businesses and public agencies save energy, reduce grid demand and generate their own power through a variety of rebate, technical assistance and education programs.
Officially introduced to the U.S. market in September 2009, the eneloop bike “Synergetic Hybrid Bicycle” is a hybrid pedal-assist electric bicycle using rechargeable battery power and human pedal power to transport the rider efficiently and effectively with minimal effort.
The bike has a couple of innovative features. The battery can be recharged while the bike is being ridden — a featured called “loop charging” — while a “two-wheel drive” feature maintains a steadier, smoother ride on diverse terrains.
“Sanyo’s eneloop bike serves as a valuable educational tool for helping CCSE demonstrate to the public different ways to adopt clean and efficient energy technologies and practices,” said Irene Stillings, executive director of CCSE.
Sanyo North America has been partnering with CCSE since 2008. The most recent collaboration was Sanyo’s replacement of all the dry cell battery supplies at CCSE headquarters with eneloop rechargeable batteries — a demonstration of the use of rechargeable batteries as a viable alternative electricity source.
“Sanyo’s donation of the eneloop bike ‘is an important example of how electric-hybrid transportation can be used and is being used to help reduce our dependence on depleting natural resources, such as oil and natural gas,” said Masami Murata, president of Sanyo North America.
The eneloop bike recently won the 2010 Best of Innovations award at the Consumer Electronics Show in the category of Eco-Design & Sustainable Technology.

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