Sono Motors is an electric vehicle startup from Germany whose ambitious goal is to launch an EV that has photovoltaic cells embedded in pretty much all its flat panels, including the fenders and doors. It’s one step further compared to other companies that only put solar panels in the roof of their vehicles, making the Sono Sion a very unique EV, and now one that is one step closer to production.
The startup recently unveiled an updated version of the Sion SEV (solar electric vehicle) prototype that we got to experience last year in Munich. At first glance not much has changed, as the vehicle has the same body shape, although it has been cleaned up as this is the vehicle’s final production look.
Gallery: Sono Sion SEV Production Spec
Laurin Hahn, co-founder and CEO of Sono Motors,
We are tremendously excited for Sono Motors’ journey towards providing clean, affordable, and accessible solar transportation for the masses.
Production of our series-validation fleet and presenting the Sion in its production design is a further step towards delivering on our promise of an affordable solar-electric passenger vehicle.
The exterior is simpler, it has fewer visible lines and its front and rear fascias have received their final production light clusters - comparing the front fascia of the older prototype with this new version, you can really see the difference. There are also new door handles, a new charging port door, an integrated reversing camera that it didn’t have before and overall it certainly doesn’t look cobbled together like the car we saw last year.
Its party piece are the 456 solar half-cells that the manufacturer says will provide an average of 112 km (70 miles) of free range per week, although in ideal conditions that could increase to 245 km (150 miles) if you were to drive it in a place that is mostly sunny, like California. Relying on its 54 kWh battery pack alone, the Sono Sion is expected to be rated at 305 km (190 miles) on the WLTP test cycle and it can DC fast charge at up to 75 kW, while its on-board AC charger provides a maximum 11 kW.
The vehicle’s interior has also been tidied up and it looks like it’s sporting all its final production panels and switchgear. We’re also happy to see the interior’s main design feature, a panel of moss (the only splash of color in an otherwise dark and simple cabin) has made it into production and there’s really nothing like it in the entire industry.
The solar hatchback will enter production in Finland in the second half of 2023 where it will be manufactured by Valmet Automotive. They plan to build 257,000 vehicles by the end of the decade and it should prove popular given that it costs from €25,126 and its makers say it will also have one of the lowest costs of ownership of any current passenger vehicle.
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