Panasonic Launches Japan’s First Electrical Power Assisted Bicycle with Push-Walking Function
Panasonic Cycle Tech will launch its first electrically power assisted bicycle “Bibi L. Push Walk” in Japan on 6th July 2021. The market for electrically power assisted bicycles is expanding in Japan and is used for various purposes such as daily shopping and picking up children. In recent years, it has also been selected as a means of transportation for elderly people after voluntarily returning their driver’s license. The number of elderly people in Japan who have voluntarily returned their driver’s licenses has doubled in five years from 2015 to 570,000, so the number of people using electrically power assisted bicycles as a means of transportation is increasing.
According to the revised Road Traffic Law which came into effect on December 1, 2019 in Japan, electric bicycles that assist pushing and walking by driving a motor will also be regarded as pedestrians walking assistance vehicles. The revised Road Traffic Act stipulates three conditions: the driving speed when walking is 6 km / h or less, user cant drive the cycle by sitting on the seat, can’t ride the cycle and driving stops when the bicycle is separated.
The push-walking function is a function that assists push-walking on pedestrian bridges, slopes of bicycle parking lots, and slopes. This function operates while the [Push] button is pressed when the saddle is tilted. The push-walking function is controlled by four sensors: a saddle tilt sensor, a sensor with a built-in motor, a torque sensor, and a speed sensor.
The speed sensor and the sensor with a built-in motor are motor-controlled, and when the walking speed changes, it is possible to assist according to the walking speed. In addition, when carrying uphill or luggage, the sensor with built-in motor detects the load and adjusts the assist force. The torque sensor that detects the load on the pedals and the saddle tilt sensor that detects that the saddle is tilted are designed so that the push-walking function does not work when riding.
Panasonic Bibi L. Push Walk electric bicycle comes with a built-in saddle tilt sensor that detects the state of the saddle, and is designed so that the push-walking function operates only when the saddle is tilted. Unsafe use is prevented by making the mechanism so that user cannot sit on the saddle when walking. Panasonic Bibi L. Push Walk electric bicycle is available in charcoal brown color in Japan for 129,000 yen ($1187) from 6th July,2021. The cycle weighs 24.0kg and is powered by a 25.2 V-12.0 Ah Lithium-Ion Battery, with a charging time of 4 hours.