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Order books fill for Sono Motors’ solar car

BRIGHT FUTURE: Sono Motors says it has received over 15,000 consumer reservations for its Sion solar-powered car.

German start-up Sono Motors has over 15,000 deposits for its Sion solar electric vehicle

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4 Nov 2021

MUNICH-based Sono Motors says it has received more than 15,000 “direct consumer reservations” for its Sion solar electric vehicle corresponding to a total order value of more than €321 million (AUD$500 million) from across Germany and greater Europe. 

 

The company says that the greatest interest in the solar car has come from within the DACH (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland region), but that is also seeing “increasing numbers” of registrations from countries including France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain.

 

Production of the Sion is yet to commence, but the popularity of the €23,900 (AUD$37,230) small hatch has been “solid” since it debuted online at the Consumer Electronics Show in January this year Sono Motors COO Thomas Hausch said.

 

Cheaper than Europe’s current EV price leaders – the MG ZS and Volkswagen ID.3 – the Sono Motors Sion is able to drive up to 34km from solar power alone with power provided by 248 polymer photovoltaic cells embedded in the car’s body. 

 

Hausch says that the ability to charge the vehicle from the sun means it requires only 25 per cent of the charging time of a regular EV, the charge feeding a 35kWh liquid-cooled battery that can provide the Sion with up to 255km of driving range.

 

The Sion is powered by a single electric motor which produces 120kW/270Nm to provide a top speed of 140km/h. Like other EVs it can provide power to remote devices, other vehicles, and even homes. The ability to charge the vehicle from the sun means it also reduces home power bills and lessens the burden on electrical infrastructure.

 

“We have one of the lowest total cost of ownership [vehicles] in the segment, which we achieve in part by getting free solar power. Imagine being able to own and operate this vehicle for five years and save thousands of dollars in fuel costs,” said Hausch at the model’s unveiling in January.

 

“You can even make a buck or two when you start sharing and thinking about other people when you share a ride or share power [via the accompanying Sono app].”

 

The Sono app allows owners to share access to the vehicle with other people remotely and can identify the vehicle’s location, battery status, and charging progress – both from solar power or roadside charger.

 

Because of its solar cell cladding, the Sion is available only in black, and will be sold exclusively online to reduce costly dealership overheads, Hausch said. 

 

The solar car offers 650 litres of cargo space and can even tow up to 750kg.

 

Sono Motors will partner with Swedish manufacturer NEVS to reduce production costs.

 

There is no indication yet as to whether a right-hand drive Sion will be produced.


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