If you take it for granted that bicycles are a safe and green part of the transportation system for all ages, then this makes perfect sense. Panasonic has just introduced an electric bike with 20" wheels and a "low floor design" that makes it really easy to get on, start with a boost and stand with your feet flat. Anyone could ride this. It's designed so that older people can maintain their mobility and get themselves to market.
Richard at Cyclicious writes:
It features an ultra low step through frame so stiff-jointed elderly adults can continue biking to the market. The electric assist motor and lithium battery have a range of up to 13 km (about 8 miles), which is plenty for a typical compact Japanese city. The frame geometry also allows for a flat footed stance while stopped.It also has some interesting power modes, including an automatic mode to help start moving, and a power mode for hills. But what is most fascinating is the fact that in North America, people would be appalled at putting "elderlies" on bikes so that they could go to market or have some mobility. Much safer to wrap them in steel and put them in cars.
More at Akihibara News