Green gadget: Sanyo is addressing the space issue in cities such as Tokyo with a new model of folding bicycle. The CY-SPJ220 is a rather small device with 20-inch tires. It folds in half for fitting into elevators and stowing in apartment foyers or on balconies. The bike weighs just 18 1/2 kg, making it portable. Sanyo is promoting it as part of a “micro park-and-ride concept.” The idea is that you carry the bike in your car, park and then ride on to your final destination. On top of its portability the CY-SPJ220 is also no simple pedal pusher — it is an electric hybrid bike.

Apart from the bulging middle of the frame that accommodates the electrical gear, the three-speed bike has a standard simple folding design. Sanyo has adopted what it calls a Two-Wheel Drive System for the CY-SPJ220, which means the electric motor powers the front wheel with the rear linked to the pedals in a conventional style. Sanyo claims this provides greater stability. The battery lasts for 16 km to 46 km of riding distance, depending on what mode is used, and takes just over two hours to recharge. The bike’s motor can even charge the battery while coasting down a hill without pedaling.

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