Solar charging stations for cars? Been there, done that. Now Sanyo has completed two solar parking lot charging stations in Japan for its “Eneloop” hybrid electric bikes–and the company is offering 80 bikes for community use at the two spots. Each station can charge 40 bikes, with power left to light up LEDs at night in the parking lots.
Sanyo’s solar lots, located in Tokyo’s Setagaya ward, don’t use any fossil fuels for charging–they rely completely on rooftop solar panels (each station has 36 210W panels) and lithium ion batteries for storage. There is, of course, one drawback: the stations only work for Sanyo’s $2,000+ Eneloop bicycles. And while Sanyo is offering bikes at each location for community use, we can imagine that theft could become common. Still, we have to applaud Sanyo for providing a window into the future of sustainably-powered electric hybrid bikes.