Well Sanyo has had the patent on OJ Birkestrands AC motor (http://www.rabbittool.com/frames/frelcwhl.html) for about 5 years and it looks like they are at least doing something with it for the Japanese market. http://www.sanyo.com/news/2008/12/01-1en.html They are really unwilling to bring anything to market here but I think this hubmotor could be the best one going if they at least would do a 500w version here where out laws are a bit more lax wattage wise. The whole pedelec thing looks like it is getting a slight revamp also with the new 1:2 law on the books there in Japan. But in reality I don't think pedelec is any real benefit. It has always felt jerky and counterintuitive when I have tried it out on bikes.
They are really playing up the regen card too which is pretty minimal in reality but it does make for a nice front brake assist. Also interesting how they are marketing the 2 wheel drive aspect as a safety feature, which it actually can be according to my experience. I would like to see the 500w motor here for sure though.