Bicycles. Can They Get Any Greener? Yep


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.

Scott Adelson

Scott Adelson is EcoSalon's Senior Editor of HyperKulture, a monthly column that explores opening cultural doors to initiate personal change. He is also the author of InPRINT, which reviews and discusses books, new and old. You can reach him at