Munich’s local transport company (the MVG, short for Münchner Verkehrsgesellschaft) has just initiated testing of a solar trailer that can be hitched to its existing buses, promising to lower their carbon footprint quite significantly every year. The trailer is covered in solar panels provided by Sono Motors, and it helps save fuel by providing power for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, as well as the trailer’s steering system.

The MVG says that the trailer could potentially help save up to 2,500 liters of diesel per year per vehicle and also reduce CO2 emissions per vehicle by over 6.5 tons. This is achieved through the use of 20 semi-flexible photovoltaic panels from Sono Motors (the same tech it uses in its first production model, the Sion).

According to Laurin Hahn, Sono Motors co-founder and CEO,

The partnership with MVG illustrates the enormous potential of our unique solar technology, which is now being used for the first time in the company's history on public transport. This is a milestone in Sono Motors’ mission to make every vehicle solar.

Especially in times of rising energy prices and increasing urban area emission regulations, our solar technology offers great added value for public transport operators. City buses and coaches, whether electric or diesel-powered, offer a lot of space and are out on the road every day. The first solar bus trailer for MVG will hit the streets of Munich in the future and allow MVG passengers to experience solar mobility in daily use.

And even though the solar trailer is being tested behind a diesel bus, Sono Motors says that its special photovoltaic panels could be integrated into an electric bus and provide it with a notable range extension. Currently, there are no electric buses with solar panels from Sono, but the company has signed deals with bus and truck manufacturer MAN, so we could see vehicles from this brand feature the tech in the future.

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