Cool. I had heard about STEPS but hadn't seen any pics.
Even though lithium ion batteries are high tech, I cant imagine getting much range from a 4Amp hour battery. However, it sounds like you may be able to recharge it with a solar panel. The regen braking will not help much in a flat area like Houston.
Niether post mentioned front brake options. Rim brakes are a given, but they didn't mention if there is an integral roller brake in the hub motor (great for old cruisers) or mounts for a disk rotor.
Now that Shimano has entered this segment, they will set the standard and force existing hub motor manufacturers to improve. It's going to be fun.
Disappointed they didn't build a bottom bracket motor like Panasonic's. I keep hoping that Optibike might decide to expand its business and manufacture bottom bracket motors for anyone. Imagine how cool a Big Dummy or Kona Ute would be with a powerful bottom bracket motor.