Solar E-Bike Charging Expands In Japan
Here's a measure of the growing popularity of electric bicycles in Japan:Kyocera saysití»s coming out with solar-powered charging stations specifically for the assisted-power two-wheelers.
This new product isn't surprising, actually, given that earlier this year, Sanyo opened twosolar-powered parking lotsfor E-Bikes
in Setagaya, Japan. While those large lots represented a hefty infrastructure investment - each is outfitted to charge 100 bicycles - Kyocera's new offering appears to be smaller and more adaptable. As pictured, the Solar Cycle Station consists of a shoulder-high wall of photovoltaic panels, maybe 10 yards in length, that could power a half-dozen bicycles. It's easy to imagine retailers, transportation hubs, apartment complexes, schools and the like making use of such a charging station.
Kyocera Solar Cycle Station, charging for electric bicyclesKyocera said it was inspired to create the Solar Cycle Station because "the popularity ofelectric bicycleshas grown immensely" in Japan, as an alternative means of transportation in daily life but also through rental shops in tourist areas.As for the question of what happens to these charging outlets at night or during persistently cloudy weather, Kyocera says not to worry: They can be connected to the regular power grid, allowing for continued service. The company also notes that in addition to having connections for electric bicycles, the stations come with conventional outlets that could be used as a power source during outages or emergencies. (www.jb-electricbikes.com)