I'm reviewing the Sanyo Eneloop bicycle -- an electric assist bike -- for Momentum Magazine. Watch for the review in a month or two.
I can't say much about it here yet, but suffice to say that my wife absolutely loves it. She's always been of the opinion that electric assist is cheating, but here she is trying it on a grocery run and having a blast.
IMPORTANT: Please post comments for this article at the new CYCLELICIOUS 2.0 version of this page.
My Trek dealer just sent an email saying they were going to start carrying Trek's version; that they're ready for prime time. I'm not ready for 'em yet -- there's no such thing as a free lunch -- but could be they'll be better thanbike lanes at getting people out there. We'll see!
The Sanyo rep told me he wants to sell these through traditional bike shops, but they've been very resistant to selling any kind of ebike. So far the Sanyo bikes are available through dealers that specialize in electric bikes and scooters.
Hopefully the people that will switch to these are car users rather than cyclists switching to electric bikes. It is definitely still not as eco friends as just pedalling - I hear a lot of their batteries get disgarded and there's not a lot you can do with them.
@Andreas - I think another good market would be those with physical limitations of some kind, from age, injury or disease, perhaps. LiIon batteries are easily recycled, but I think you're right that most of them just get discarded.