new products

Electric assistance bicycle

19 Comments

Panasonic has a new electric assistance bicycle in Japan just in time for the holidays. The bicycle, equipped with a powerful motor that assists pedaling, can run for 42 km on a single 4-hour charge. The charging time has been dramatically reduced from previous models, which required around 8 hours.

The new assist program also utilizes increased power until the bike reaches 15 km/h, making it easier to take off from a complete stop or go up hills. The motor features three specialized modes.

Price: 132,000 yen

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19 Comments
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Errr...so whats the name of this Panasonic bike? This point seems quite important and missing from this article.

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What a cheap and handsome looking bicycle (not!).

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I've had two of these over the years and got rid of both of them as they are not very fast and run out of power after 50 minutes or so if you go uphill on them. And they're bloody expensive.

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Got 18 Gears on mine, so no need for power assistance. And was way cheaper than any of the PAS ones.

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Got 18 Gears on mine, so no need for power assistance. And was way cheaper than any of the PAS ones.

Guys, we are talking about a Mamachari mainly driven by ladies in short skirts, not by guys with big calves.

The price though is ridiculous; one can not leave this at the station without fear that its soon gone. And then the need for a new battery --usually after 500 recharging cycles-- for another 50.000 yen.

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And then the need for a new battery --usually after 500 recharging cycles-- for another 50.000 yen.

Not necessarily as with these simple disk locks, taking your neighbor's newer battery is simple.

Though after maximum 3 years most Japanese Mamacharies are run down and need to be replaced. Mainly because most owners do not care about maintenance (not even basics like tire pressure).

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Kyoken.

Tell that to my 10yr old son who keeps up with this 40+ guy who has skinny but sexy calves.

But agree Japanese don't maintain their bicycles, just listen to those drum brakes where metal scraps on metal or the chain is stretched so far that it clanks in the case during riding, etc.

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What an ugly piece of machinery. Do electric powered vehicles of any sort have to be that hard on the eyes?

"Tell that to my 10yr old son who keeps up with this 40+ guy who has skinny but sexy calves." ...awkward!

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Namaman, it's the Lithium ViVi EX.

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Tell that to my 10yr old son who keeps up with this 40+ guy who has skinny but sexy calves.

Guess your son has to carry much less weight, so its an unfair competition. But training helps ...

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Now here's a truly beautiful electric-assist bicycle... very pricey though...

pimobility dot com

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sk4ek - last year I was in touch with pimo about their ST model(I think).

Great machine - but there was a waiting list and it appears it would not have been legal in Japan. Because of it's power it would be classed as a motor bike so would need all the necessary add ons & functions for compliance.

The current legislation here re electric transport needs a big overhaul.

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I purchased an electric bridgestone bicycle 7 yrs ago for just under 100,000 yen and i can tell you it,s money well spent,having two children the bike was of great assistance with the boys as well as groceries etc... Would of been impoosible with an ordinary bike,as for the battery I charge it about once every 30kms,so it depends on the circumstances and budget if you want one...

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Most Japanese people don't care about bicycle maintenance, buy use throw away & get a new one. is how they think with bikes. even these ones. They will use it for 2-3 years and then buy a new one. no need to replace a battery if 2 years is all they expect. No need to make it cheaper, cause they buy them anyways. Why isn't the product name included in this article?? makes no sense.

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browny1--would'ncha know... :-( Not that I could afford one, anyway, but it sure is an artful piece of design!

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A bicycle = a simple mode of transport where you can get not strenuous, but regular exercise.

A moped / scooter = for people who want to get around quicker than with a bicycle, but don't want to shell the cash for a car.

An electric bicycle = for people who want to get around quicker than a bicycle, but don't have a driving license? I can't see this thing having a long term place in the market, just the initial novelty purchases.

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These things have been around for a while in Japan, and they are actually quite impressive. I live on a slope, and it is quite a sight to see the occasional tiny housewife on an electric mamachari loaded with toddlers and/or grocery peddling up the hill as if it was nothing! Others get off and push.

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With an estimated 120 million electric-assist bicycles sold in China alone (as of early 2010), hardly what I'd call a "novelty purchase" with no long-term place in the market. As WilliB notes, it's not a question of speed--especially in Japan where bicycles really are the urban pack mules of many families--but a relatively low-cost power boost.

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so...it's pretty useless ay. If i wanted anything motorized it'd better not be a bicycle. May work with OLs, mothers and jiichan & baachan. Great, another threat on the streets!

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