Sanyo surrounds Tokyo with Eneloop charging stations and bikes to match

Renting a bike in most urban areas of the US is a difficult proposition. In Japan not only can you easily rent a bike, you can now rent an electric bike -- a solar powered electric bike to boot. Sanyo has dropped Eneloop stations on three locations around the Setagaya ward of Tokyo, each having 100 of the company's electric rides on offer for passers by to borrow (for a sadly undisclosed fee). When the bikes aren't being pedaled around town they'll sit in the station, being recharged by 46 square meters of solar panels that not only juice up batteries but also provide LED lighting for the station itself. While Sanyo does offer some solar stations for Eneloop owners, these look to be for renters only, meaning those who've bought their own will have to take themselves and their little baskets somewhere else.

Update: Commenter camcavers managed to find this article that lists the price for a 12 hour rental (7am until 7pm) is 300 yen, or about $3.50, plus a 3500 yen deposit. That's a good deal for borrowing any bike, never mind one as expensive as these!