Sono Motors’ Solar Powered Sion EV Officially Unveiled

Sono Motors - Sion Electric Vehicle

Touting it as the solar car for everyone, Munich’s Sono Motors unveiled a fully functional prototype of its Sion electric vehicle last week.

The Sion features 330 Sunpower solar cells integrated on its bodywork that are protected by a polycarbonate layer. The company says under favourable conditions, solar power can supply enough charge to Sion’s battery system to cover 30 kilometres a day.

When fully charged, Sion’s battery pack provides a range of 250 kilometres. It’s not clear from the Sono Motors site what the EV’s battery capacity is, but another source puts it at 30 kWh.

Bidirectional charging enables the Sion to become a mobile power station, supplying loads up to 2.7kW via a standard outlet on the car.  A Type 2 plug allows greater loads to be connected – up to 7.6kW.

With a “powersharing” app, owners will be able to grant access to Sion’s stored energy, controlling how much energy is transferred and at what cost. Should owners choose to offer such a service, other app users will be able to see where the car is located and the price of the energy on offer.

Solar cells - Sion EV

A quirky feature of the EV is breSono; moss integrated into the dashboard and the center console that serves as a natural air filter.

Sono Motors initially leveraged the power of crowdfunding to fund development of Sion prototypes, raising €549,295 – 120% of its target. The company says it now requires 5,000 reservations to start commercial production of the EV on schedule, which is slated for the second quarter of 2019. Sono Motors said it had racked up 1,500 reservations before the unveiling event.

As for the price of the Sion, at current exchange rates the vehicle costs just over AUD $23,500 without the battery pack. The battery will be available as a one-time purchase or under a leasing arrangement. At this point in time, the battery will be under AUD $6,000 to buy outright. The company is hoping for either a price drop or more capacity for that money by the time vehicles start rolling off the production line.

For Australian buyers, delivery and associated import costs will also apply.

Sono Motors is offering a discount of up to 8% on pre-orders, depending on the level of commitment by the purchaser.

The company is about to embark on a test drive tour through Europe; starting off in Munich and visiting at least 12 cities and 7 countries. Those interested in the EV will be able to test drive the Sion during the tour.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. I do agree that cars should have a solar panel on the boot or bonnet (or roof if it is sans a sunroof) but this car company will most likely fail.

    They are up against Nissan Leaf, Toyota Prius, Hyundai Ioniq, Chevy Bolt.

    • Perhaps, and perhaps not. There are a many small and successful manufacturers.

      Besides, every one of your giant companies probably started small.

      This is an inspirational car using technology. I’d buy one in a heartbeat if it drove well.

      Just wait, the technology for glass/solar is advancing, and cars like these that supply to the grid as well, will be a godsend to our ecology and our wallets.

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