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

Sono Motors has debuted the production layout of its Sion, a battery-electrical crossover that employs photo voltaic cells to make electric power and extend assortment.

The Munich-dependent startup, which trades on the Nasdaq below SEV, pitches the Sion as “the world’s 1st very affordable photo voltaic electrical automobile.”

At a Munich party Monday, Sono also unveiled a photo voltaic package for diesel buses that transit services can use to source energy to subsystems this sort of as HVAC and cut down gasoline usage and emissions.

But in the Sion, solar will aid refill the batteries that electricity propulsion. The vehicle characteristics 456 solar fifty percent-cells that deliver sufficient strength to increase about 70 to 150 miles for every week to the range, dependent on weather conditions and driving circumstances. It is plenty of photo voltaic electric power to “allow self-sufficiency on limited journeys,” the company reported. The Sion’s 54-kilowatt-hour lithium iron phosphate battery has an believed assortment of 189 miles.

Offering point of solar

Supplementing the motor vehicle with solar-produced ability gives up to 4 situations much more selection than discovered on autos with the exact same battery dimensions, explained Laurin Hahn, co-founder and CEO of Sono Motors.

“That is the advertising level of solar,” he told Automotive Information.

The Sion’s battery has a optimum charging ability of up to 75 kilowatts DC and 11 kW AC. Bidirectional charging enabled by the car’s solar panels permits powering of electronic products, a property or even other electric powered autos at up to an 11-kW output.

Sono is generating a fleet of validation automobiles in Munich. The firm reported they would be examined in Europe and the U.S. in distinctive climates. The testing will go over validation, homologation, crash basic safety and bettering the photo voltaic technology and driving dynamics on test tracks and public roadways.

The Sion has an believed price of about $26,000. Sono stated it experienced a lot more than 19,000 reservations for the car or truck at the start off of July, each individual with an normal down payment of about $2,300. Generation will start off in the next 50 % of 2023, Hahn said.

“We prepare to produce 257,000 motor vehicles with Valmet Automotive, our agreement producer that provides the Mercedes-Benz GLC and GLA,” Hahn stated.

Sono ideas to sector the Sion in Europe 1st.

“But you will find enormous potential in other markets, and we will shortly disclose them,” Hahn extra.

Incorporate-on for public transport buses

The enterprise also has its eyes on greater vehicles. Its Photo voltaic Bus Kit is an include-on for 12-meter community transport buses this kind of as the Mercedes-Benz Citaro and Male Lion Town.

The package can help save up to almost 400 gallons of diesel and lower CO2 emissions by up to 4 tons for every bus for every year when employing about 8 sq. meters of photo voltaic panels, in accordance to Sono.

It “has a payback time of in between three and 4 many years, and these buses operate for 10, 15, 20 several years,” Hahn said.

Sono is focusing on diesel cars very first.

“We are focusing on a marketplace of 10,000 cars for the future 10 many years and in which we see massive prospective of saving fossil fuels,” Hahn reported.

The enterprise has not launched pricing specifics for the package.

Sono is partnering with 19 providers worldwide, including Guy Truck & Bus and fridge-truck maker Cherea to put into practice its retrofit package on a assortment of cars, which include buses, trailers, vehicles and electrical transporters. It is also partnered with logistic large Rhenus to create a prototype last-mile supply car with solar integration.

“You can find massive likely in logistics,” Hahn stated. “They have to have to shift to zero emissions and are urgently searching for solutions. This is 1 of them.”

Melissa M. Taylor

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