Gallery: Cyclist Journeys From France To Japan on Solar Electric Bike!


If you live in Europe, the general way to get to Japan is to fly. However French cyclist Florian Bailly opted for a different method of transport – a solar electric bicycle. His epic journey would take him through Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China and finally into Japan (10,000km in total!) all on the back of a 8,000 euro prototype bicycle that towed a solar panelled trailer.

By using a solar powered electric bicycle, Bailly was able to make the journey in two-thirds of the time it would take someone peddling normally. As such, he was able to rack up 120km a day allowing the journey to be completed in four months as opposed to six.

The key to his epic journey’s success was the solar trailer which carried two solar panels. These panels charged two lithium batteries that powered the bicycle’s electric motor enabling Bailly to travel at higher speeds with the same amount of pedalling.

Upon arriving at his destination in Tokyo, Bailly said: “I crossed desert, mountains and countryside, where there is nothing, nobody. Then in this big city with millions of people, it was crazy.”

“I met a lot of people across the world. I was surprised– everyone, young, old people, rich or poor people, were interested in my bike. I don’t speak Chinese or Russian very well. So we had to talk with a few words or gestures. But everyone understands how this bike works.”

Bailly is now planning on returning to France where he will make a film about his exploits and promote the use of electric scooters and bicycles around the world.

+ Sur La Route Du Soleil Levant (Florian Bailly’s website)

Via Green Optimistic

Images from Sur La Route Du Soleil Levant


or your inhabitat account below


  1. Diego Soto Galvez June 29, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    En este mundo en que la contaminación ambiental es tan palpable,personas como el debieran existir por miles,lamentablemente es un gusto algo costoso y que los Gobiernos debieran subsidiar para asi promover el uso de estos exelentes vehiculos.
    Diego de Colombia

  2. VeloteqEbikes October 18, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Interesting story and good way to generate interest in electric bikes. I’d have to agree with @geoffstanley though–the solar panel may not be worth its weight for this epic journey. However, it would be really nice for people who don’t cycle much to have an ebike and charge it with solar (trailer not required).

  3. geoffstanley October 16, 2010 at 10:57 am

    I wouldn’t really say that 120km a day is 1.5 times as fast as a regular tour. Cycle tourists can go at all different rates. I averaged 120km on my tour on a normal bike without much difficulty, and met one guy who was averaging 200km, and heard of people averaging 250km… If he was only pulling 120km with a solar panel, I wonder if the solar panel is really worth its weight. But something like this could certainly be useful.

  4. Self-Balancing Electric... October 15, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    […] course, fun transportation tools like this rarely come cheap–the SBU costs $1499, with the first orders shipping in […]

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home