The idea of a green bicycle seems redundant, but engineers at Lexus have recently fixed their hybrid-tech eyes on two wheels instead of their usual four. The result is the prototype Lexus Hybrid Bicycle that boosts a rider’s manual power with a 240-watt electric motor powered by a 25.9-volt Lithium-ion battery. It even offers a choice of “Eco” or “Power” modes. Consider that for a moment: riding your bicycle on eco mode.
So picture yourself in, um, on a Lexus. This model offers an “energy regeneration” function that recharges its battery by capturing the kinetic energy generated by braking. In essence, stop means go. And get this: it’s an all-wheel drive (whatever that can mean on a bicycle).
Here’s the drill for you spec-heads: the bike is equipped with an “electric eight-speed Shimano internal gear system, which references the sophisticated eight-speed shift-by-wire automatic transmission of Lexus’s LS 600h limousine. The carbon fibre construction shares the same light-but-strong composite materials technology that was used on Valentino Rossi’s MotoGP-winning motorcycle.” So there.
For those of you more concerned with what’s not under the hood, the lines of the Hybrid Bicycle are all Lexus; with its softened angles and elegant sweeps of metal, you’re gonna wanna pet this baby as much as ride it. Oh, did I say “you?” Sorry, right now there are only two of these in existence, one of which debuted at the 2009 Tokyo motor show.