Sono Motors, the developer of solar cars in Munich, has presented the series design of its solar car Sion. It’s about the design of the bodywork and the interior – nothing has changed technologically. The planned start of production is the second half of 2023.
Unveiled at an event in Munich, the vehicle still carries the basic design of the prototypes Sono has been using for promotional and development tours for some time. The vehicle in the style of a compact van now has the final design, as from next year it will be built in series in Finland at Valmet Automotive.
From the outside, the new features are details: The light band of the headlights has been redesigned, just as the tailgate is located in the middle of the front and the air intake below. The lighting design has also been revised at the rear and the reversing camera has been integrated into the design.
The interior has also been adapted for series production, and the freestanding infotainment display still stands out here. The panel with real moss has also been included in the design of the series.
“A lot has happened,” says co-founder Jona Christians. “But one thing has not changed: the solar panels are not only located on the roof, but also in the door, front hood and boot lid.”
A total of 456 so-called half-cells are integrated into the body. It is precisely at this point that changes will take place between the exhibition in Munich and the later series model in order to get closer to the goal of seamlessly integrating the half-cells into the body. “The solar cell itself is not a new development from us,” says Christians. “Everything else, encapsulation, circuitry and software comes from Sono.”
With the solar cells, it should be possible to charge up to 112 kilometers per week or around 5,000 kilometers per year. Or 10 miles a day. “This reduces operating costs enormously, and customers need to charge the Sion four times less often than comparable electric cars,” says Christians. “The less frequent charging processes not only reduce costs, but are also a great advantage in terms of convenience.”
The solar and charging current is stored in a 54 kWh LFP battery, which should ensure a WLTP range of around 305 kilometers. The Sion can be charged at up to 75 kW at a fast charging station, and a two-way built-in charger with 11 kW has been installed for AC charging. The expected selling price is 25,125 euros net, i.e. 29,899 euros gross in Germany.
In the next step, 37 examples of the series design will now be built, of which 16 are functional cars for set-up and validation test drives and 21 bodies for various load and crash tests.
A binding agreement has now been concluded with the contract manufacturer Valmet. “The engineers from Sono and Valmet are already sitting together to prepare the production,” says Jona Christians.
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With the concept of integrating solar cells into an electric car, Sono Motors still sees itself as well positioned. “There are two big trends favoring solar energy in cars. Solar has evolved extremely in terms of efficiency and prices. Solar energy is one of the cheapest forms of energy we have on the planet,” says co-founder Laurin Hahn. “The second reason is electric mobility, which has developed enormously in recent years – both in terms of battery technology and customer acceptance.”
The interface between these two trends is the “sweet spot that we see for Sono Motors,” says Hahn. Therefore, the company is now based on two pillars – its own vehicle business with Sion and the solar cell technology division, which will integrate solar cells into all types of vehicles.
And they don’t even have to be electric vehicles: in addition to the Sion series, Sono Motors presented a solar bus kit in Munich. This can also be placed on the roof of diesel buses to generate power for the auxiliary consumers and thus reduce fuel consumption.
Source: Pre-Media Event
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