If there is a future to be had for electric bikes, it may well lie with the Sanyo Synergetic Hybrid Bicycle, also known as the eneloop bike.
Sanyo is showcasing at the Consumer Electronics Show this week the eneloop bike, offering rides to some to try out its power assist electric functionality. This reporter took the eneloop out for a spin around an area of the trade show and came away quite impressed with the smoothness of the ride and the fact it felt like riding a bike was actually easier. Now that might not be something hard core bike riders want to hear, but when you are pumping up a steep grade, you’ll take all the green power assistance you can.
David Cabanban, pictured above on the eneloop bike, is Sanyo’s product manager for this electric bike. He says that Sanyo is perfectly positioned to have developed this ride from the ground up into a unique design, just like the popular Toyota Prius was built from the ground up to be a hybrid. His company, as the self-described largest manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, put its technical know how into the eneloop bike’s development.
Sanyo, according to Cabanban, has been developing electric bikes for around 15 years. The eneloop bike, as it is designed, provides a power-up mode, as Sanyo calls it, to help riders get up hills. It is said to “output the radio of the power assistance motor,” allowing one to steadily ride uphill without having to huff and puff. It has a two-wheel drive, motor-driven front wheel set up to prevent wobbly starts.