Sanyo has installed two solar-powered bicycle rental stations in Tokyo, Japan, offering their eneloop electric bikes up for hourly and daily use.

The stations use a roof mounted solar panel array to charge the bikes directly and store power in six Li-ion battery packs for later use.  Besides charging 100 bikes at a time, the station uses the power to illuminate itself after dark via LED lights.  It’s a totally self-contained, self-powered installation.  Hopefully, as more U.S. (and other) cities consider bike sharing and rental programs, this serves as a model.

Via EcoFriend.

What do you think?