As Ireland readies itself to install 3,500 charging points nationally by the end of 2011, Japan is taking sustainable charging stations one step further by installing solar-powered charging points for assisted power bikes.
The Solar Cycle Station will consist of a shoulder-high wall of photovoltaic panels that have the potential to power a half-dozen power-assisted bikes.
Pedalling the idea
The thinking behind the bike-charging stations comes from the popularity of electric bicycles in the country, and people readily favour using them over other modes of transport for conducting their daily business, as well as satisfying their environmental conscience. By using solar modules to generate the power for these bicycles, Kyocera says it is aiming to provide an economical and ecological solution.
Kyocera, the company behind the new charging stations, say the stations can be connected to the grid and can continue charging the bikes during cloud cover or at night.
This kind of innovation is nothing new for Japan. An electric taxi scheme exists in Tokyo that targets a reduction in carbon emissions clocked up by driving through the city on a daily basis.