Sono Motors shows production-ready solar-powered car, unveils retrofit kit for buses

Sono Motors has debuted the manufacturing style of its Sion, a battery-electrical crossover that makes use of solar cells to deliver electricity and extend range.

The Munich-based startup, which trades on the Nasdaq underneath SEV, pitches the Sion as “the world’s 1st reasonably priced solar electric powered car.”

At a Munich event Monday, Sono also unveiled a photo voltaic package for diesel buses that transit providers can use to provide power to subsystems these types of as HVAC and minimize gas usage and emissions.

But in the Sion, photo voltaic will help refill the batteries that electricity propulsion. The car or truck features 456 photo voltaic 50 %-cells that deliver plenty of energy to include about 70 to 150 miles for each week to the variety, dependent on weather conditions and driving problems. It truly is enough photo voltaic electricity to “permit self-sufficiency on short journeys,” the enterprise reported. The Sion’s 54-kilowatt-hour lithium iron phosphate battery has an believed array of 189 miles.

Selling level of solar

Supplementing the car with photo voltaic-generated energy gives up to 4 instances far more variety than identified on autos with the exact battery dimension, mentioned Laurin Hahn, co-founder and CEO of Sono Motors.

“That’s the marketing position of photo voltaic,” he explained to Automotive News.

The Sion’s battery has a maximum charging ability of up to 75 kilowatts DC and 11 kW AC. Bidirectional charging enabled by the car’s solar panels lets powering of digital products, a residence or even other electrical vehicles at up to an 11-kW output.

Sono is making a fleet of validation vehicles in Munich. The organization said they would be examined in Europe and the U.S. in unique climates. The screening will cover validation, homologation, crash security and improving the solar technology and driving dynamics on check tracks and general public streets.

The Sion has an estimated price tag of about $26,000. Sono claimed it had much more than 19,000 reservations for the motor vehicle at the start of July, each with an ordinary down payment of about $2,300. Generation will get started in the 2nd fifty percent of 2023, Hahn mentioned.

“We approach to generate 257,000 motor vehicles with Valmet Automotive, our deal maker that generates the Mercedes-Benz GLC and GLA,” Hahn mentioned.

Sono ideas to market place the Sion in Europe 1st.

“But you will find enormous prospective in other marketplaces, and we will quickly disclose them,” Hahn added.

Incorporate-on for community transport buses

The company also has its eyes on even bigger motor vehicles. Its Photo voltaic Bus Package is an add-on for 12-meter general public transport buses these as the Mercedes-Benz Citaro and Male Lion Metropolis.

The kit can conserve up to practically 400 gallons of diesel and minimize CO2 emissions by up to 4 tons per bus per 12 months when employing about 8 square meters of solar panels, in accordance to Sono.

It “has a payback time of amongst three and four decades, and these buses run for 10, 15, 20 decades,” Hahn reported.

Sono is concentrating on diesel autos very first.

“We are concentrating on a current market of 10,000 automobiles for the next 10 several years and where by we see massive opportunity of saving fossil fuels,” Hahn said.

The firm has not launched pricing specifics for the kit.

Sono is partnering with 19 corporations globally, together with Male Truck & Bus and fridge-truck maker Cherea to carry out its retrofit kit on a range of autos, which include buses, trailers, vehicles and electric transporters. It is also partnered with logistic big Rhenus to establish a prototype last-mile shipping and delivery car with solar integration.

“You can find huge possible in logistics,” Hahn said. “They want to move to zero emissions and are urgently seeking for methods. This is one particular of them.”