German EV startup Sono Motors has announced it has received over 15,000 private reservations for its Sion solar-assisted electric vehicle. 

The Munich-based company says these reservations correspond to a total order value of $385 million (€321 million), with the average down payment being €3,300 ($3,815). That’s approximately 15% of the Sion’s net starting price of €21,400 ($25,600) in Germany.

Achieving 15,000 paid reservations is pretty remarkable for a vehicle that isn’t yet in production. Interestingly, Sono Motors says it plans to increase the Sion’s base price to €23,900 ($28,600) on November 15 or once reservations reach the 16,000 mark—depending on which occurs earlier.

Therefore, customers who are interested in a Sion solar EV should hurry up with their reservation as the €1,500 ($1,700) price hike goes into effect in two weeks’ time.

Gallery: Sono Motors Sion

Preorders for the Sion continue to be predominantly placed in Germany and the rest of the DACH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) region, but the company says it is also seeing increasing numbers from countries such as France, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Portugal. 

Billed as the world’s first solar electric vehicle for the masses, the Sion will be produced through contract manufacturing, with customer deliveries expected to begin in the first half of 2023. Sono Motors aims to begin testing its third generation of Sion prototypes in 2022. In the meantime, the company awaits a verdict on the proposed US IPO filed earlier this month.

The Sion solar EV features a 54 kWh liquid cooled LFP battery that enables a range of up to 305 km (189 miles) on a single charge, depending on the weather and driving style. The vehicle’s 248 solar cells integrated into the body are said to add 112 km (70 miles) on average of driving range per week. 

The battery can charge at a rate of up to 75 kW, in which case it can reach 80% SoC in 35 minutes or 100% SoC in 60 minutes (about 5 hours at 11 kW).

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