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Posted by on Mar 2, 2010 in In The News, Lifestyle, Technology, TG Roundup

SANYO Releases New “eneloop bike” Electric Hybrid Bicycle

Tokyo, March 2, 2010 – SANYO Electric Co., Ltd. (SANYO) is pleased to announce the launch of new models for the ‘eneloop bike’ lineup of electric hybrid bicycles that recharge themselves while being used. The new models, CY-SPL226 and CY-SPL224, will feature a next-generation riding mode, “Eco Charge Mode,” and will be launched on April 21, 2010 in Japan*2. Until now, the regenerative charging function, “Loop Charge,” which enables charging while riding, only recharged the bicycle battery on downhill stretches or during deceleration. In these situations, the electric motor on the front wheel switches to a dynamo in order to charge the battery. Charging while pedaling on flat ground was not possible.

With the ‘eneloop bike’ SPL series, however, the new “Eco Charge Mode” for regenerative charging control enables the rider to actively charge the battery while pedaling on flat roads. This series represents a new style of energy-creating models. The “Eco Charge Mode” controls the charging rate by ascertaining overall conditions such as foot pressure on the pedals and changes in dynamotor revolution speed. This enables effortless regenerative charging while riding, that is comfortable for the rider, by adjusting for the change in various conditions such as the amount of exertion, speed, and road conditions.

Some consumers worry about running out of battery power mid-journey when using a power-assisted bicycle. To address this concern, SANYO added a “Power Reserve” function to the SPL series, based on the company’s advanced rechargeable battery technology, together with a high-capacity 7.6 Ah lithium-ion battery. This will greatly reduce consumer apprehension over battery depletion.

Product description Electric Hybrid Bicycle
Product No. CY-SPL226(W)/(R)/(S)/(L), CY-SPL224(W)/(R)
Product name
MSRP (including tax) 157,290 yen
Release date April 21, 2010 (Japan) *2
Monthly production 1,000 units
*1
For charging rate control by ascertaining general conditions such as foot pedal pressure and changes in dynamotor revolution speed, while riding on flat ground. As of the release date (April 21, 2010).
*2
This product will be available in Japan only as of the release date (April 21, 2010).

Main Features

1. Industry’s first*1 “Eco Charge Mode” for efficient regenerative charging while riding on flat roads

The regenerative charging “Loop Charge*3” function, which enables the battery to be charged while riding, saves the energy created when the bicycle is traveling downhill or decelerating, and then uses it for power assistance when needed. This function has been well received for its ability to generate electricity to recharge the bicycle battery.

SANYO’s “Loop Charge” function found in previous models was realized through two features: the “Brake Charge System,” which switches the motor to a dynamo when the brake lever is activated, and the “Auto Mode,” which automatically switches the motor to a dynamo on downhill stretches. With both the “Brake Charge System” and “Auto Mode,” the opportunities for charging the battery were limited to braking and downhill riding. Recharging while pedaling on flat ground was not possible.

Now with a second-generation “Loop Charge” function, the new “Eco Charge Mode” controls the charging rate by ascertaining overall conditions such as foot pressure on the pedals and changes in dynamotor revolution speed. This enables effortless regenerative charging while riding, that is comfortable for the rider, by adjusting for the change in various conditions such as the amount of exertion, speed, and road conditions. Consequently, opportunities for generating energy while riding have been increased, making it possible to enjoy more energy saving for longer riding distances.

Furthermore, in the “Eco Charge Mode” the motor assist automatically kicks in when the rider encounters an uphill stretch, for easy climbing. Then on downhill portions, the motor automatically switches to a dynamo to charge the battery. The charging effect is further increased when the brakes are applied, by means of high-efficiency regenerative charging.

*3
“Loop Charge” is the general term for the function where the electric motor switches to a dynamo during riding in order to charge the battery (secondary charging). Even when “Loop Charge” is used, the battery still needs to be regularly charged with the dedicated charger. Battery cannot receive supplemental charging when it is fully charged or when bicycle speed exceeds 24 km/h.

Comparison of First and Second-Generation Loop Charge Technologies

Riding with first-generation “Loop Charge” in “Auto Mode”

Second-generation “Loop Charge” in “Eco Charge Mode”

As shown above, “Eco Charge Mode” enables efficient battery charging on both flat ground and downhill slopes. It is also a superior riding mode for reducing strain on the rider on uphill sections. Compared to the “Power Mode,” which uses the most battery power, “Eco Charge Mode” increases the riding distance on one charge by about 53%, based on the new industry standard riding pattern. In terms of battery capacity comparison, the new models can travel about 55 km on one charge, the furthest-class distance specification in the industry, offering energy-saving electric bike riding.
The “Eco Charge Mode” also helps reduce the rider’s environmental footprint. Someone riding 1,000 km a year in “Eco Charge Mode” will only emit 2.35 kg*4 of CO2 emissions. Compared with the “Power Mode,” which uses the most battery power, “Eco Charge” is an environmentally friendly riding mode that reduces CO2 emissions by approximately 35% (1.24 kg).

*4
CO2 equivalent amount based on the amount of household electricity used for charging, and the distance traveled on a single charge.
(No CO2 is emitted during riding)
Reference: If a rider travels 1,000 km per year using an SPL series ‘eneloop bike’ in “Eco Charge Mode,” an annual savings of approximately 20 kg in CO2 emissions can be achieved, compared to the average CO2 emissions value for the type 1 motor vehicles of Japan’s main three manufacturers (SANYO calculation).
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