Sono Unveils Production Sion Solar Electric Car

MAR 4 2019 BY MARK KANE 23

In theory, solar cells can replenish more than 10% of range per day

Sono Motors revealed series design of the Sion, electric car that probably will be the first the first series-produced EV with full-surface solar integration (most of the panels).

Compared to the prototype from 2017, the Sion is now longer, wider and more elegant. It’s expected that with 35 kWh, Sion will go up to 255 km (159 miles) under WLTP test cycle.

The solar cells can generate enough electricity per day to cover an additional 34 km (21 miles), but that’s a best-case scenario in the summer month in Munich. As you can see on the graph below, the average result will be over 20 km (12 miles), while a cloudy sky lowers the outcome to 3-11 km per day. In some sunny countries, the energy production has a chance to exceed average daily commuting needs.




Prices of the Sono Sion starts from €25,500 (€28,920). It’s more than initially planned, but 9,460 partially paid pre-orders were placed so far, which gives hope that there is demand and the company will be able to start production.

Sono Sion specs:

  • about 35 kWh battery
  • 255 km (159 miles) of range (WLTP) – simulated
  • solar panels provides up to 34 km (21 miles) of range per day at peak performance
  • 120 kW and 290 Nm electric motor
  • 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 9 seconds
  • top speed of 140 km/h (87 mph)
  • 50 kW DC fast charging capability and 11 kW three-phase on-board charger
  • towing up to 750 kg
Sono Sion
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Press release

Sono Motors Presents Design of the Sion

Innovative electric car features full-surface solar integration and more space.

Munich, March 4, 2019 – Sono Motors, the German provider of sustainable mobility concepts and producer of the first series-produced electric car with solar integration, unveiled the first images of the Sion’s series design as part of a broad online release. The focus was placed on the full-surface incorporation of solar modules into the bodywork – one of the vehicle’s unique features that have influenced its design. Thanks to technology developed by Sono Motors, the solar cells meld seamlessly into the vehicle’s surface and can generate up to 34 kilometers of additional range a day at peak performance. This is well above the average distance of 17 kilometers commuters in Germany travel to their workplace.

“After unveiling our first prototype in summer 2017, we continued to develop our solar integration technology, which we have been working on since 2016,” explains Mathieu Baudrit, head of Research and Development, Solar Integration, at Sono Motors. “The production vehicle will feature full-surface integrated solar cells that are embedded in hard-wearing, resilient polymer and that contribute to the vehicle’s design aesthetic thanks to optimized color matching.”

The Sion’s dimensions are increasing. It is becoming larger, longer, and wider, its tail is more emphasized, and it generally looks more elongated. The production version of the Solar Electric Vehicle (SEV) and innovative five-door vehicle will boast a larger footwell and additional interior space. An additional side rear window guarantees an optimum all-round view. The rear will be more stepped and, in combination with the innovative LED rear light design, more three-dimensional.

Sono Motors is involving those who have preordered a Sion in the selection of certain vehicle details by means of community votes, and in doing so is exploring entirely new avenues in the field of vehicle development.

With the Sion, Sono Motors will introduce a carbon-offset electric car and the first mass-produced vehicle featuring solar integration to the market. The vehicle concept revolves around connectivity and intelligent application options. The car features integrated sharing services. An app allows people to share the vehicle itself, rides, and – thanks to a bidirectional charging function – also energy. Sono Motors plans to develop more vehicles based on the Sion platform, for example in the areas of urban mobility, logistics and transport or last mile, including for the international market.

The company has so far taken approximately 9,500 partially paid preorders for the Sion. For its market launch, the vehicle will be delivered in a version costing 25,500 euros.

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23 Comments on "Sono Unveils Production Sion Solar Electric Car"

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I assume light colored cars will look pretty weird with all of the solar cells covering it. Dark colors make it blend in.

Or just say it’s retro side panel like the faux wood on 80s Jeeps.

The SM-Sion will be only manufactured and sold in black and only in 1 common trim to reduce cost – there was a vote of the SM Facebook-community to decide if the body below the black solar cells will be white or black – and decision was black.

There’s just one color, you guessed it: Black, and it ain’t paint either.
Much more economical when you have scratches. You don’t have to do anything about it.

Some dark shade of blue might also work. There are so many new colours these days. But I am sure it is not s primary consideration for now.

Before all the hate on this thing that it usually gets, just saying hey why not? sure solar panels will never pay it back. Granite countertops are also useless but people buy them anyway. More power to these guys…accidental pun.

First off is the solar doesn’t pay for themselves and make the EV harder to produce, heavier.
But what I want to know is why it takes over 200wthr/mile, what the 3 gets? This shouldn’t need over 125wthr/mile done right in composites, EVs and solar that I do for a living.
And getting 225 mile range from a 35kwh pack at least.
So what gives?

What I’m looking for, I can’t find. In the south, it is commonplace for those that have to park in hot sunlit parking lots to have a reflective ‘foil’ shade to unfold and put in the window when parking to reduce heat, damage, and fading in the interior. I always used one. What would be nice is a similar solar shade type thing that one could plug in as a trickle charger. Maybe 50 watts right? Stupid? Well I’m going to buy a shade anyway. Problem is that plugging that into say a 12V outlet is just going to be into the secondary electrical system and not actually charge the main battery. Maybe I’d get a mile per day tops but over its life maybe 1000 miles.

Very nice, hope to see some in USA. Solar power providing 10% is still good. This may also block the sunlight from hitting the roof and keeping the car cooler in summer.

I’m not sure where the 10% fugure is coming from. That fact is that at 8 miles of average range per day from the PV, right about 3,000 miles are gained per year. If 12 miles average, it’s 4,000. That’s 1/4th and 1/3rd of the average of 12,000 miles a year. (I know it’s actually 13 thousand something miles in the US, but 12,000 is good enough for me.) This is from real world testing in Munich Germany. Imagine this car in California! I expect it will easily provide 6,000 PV generated miles a year.
One of the main reasons I get excited about this car is the fact that many apartment dwellers will be able to easily own this EV and drive electric without needing to have a place to charge at home. Plus, it’s affordable and has lots of utility. The towing capability is wonderful!

The 10% figure used in the first caption is based on maximum range. The car has a range of 255 km (WLTP), so if it can produce at least 26 km of extra range over the course of one day, then that’ll be “more than 10%”.

Ahh, I see. I was thinking more along the lines of average daily or yearly range, but that 10% figure is of the total range per charge of the car.

“Prices of the Sono Sion starts from €25,500 (€28,920).”
Change the second € to $.

Also are we to assume that the price is for German market and already includes the 19% VAT? That would be about $23900 + dest for US?

Yes, all consumer-facing prices quoted in the EU must include local VAT, so this price does too.

I want one. I hope they bring it to the UK!

Good see progress. Hope they do well.

These would be great for Australia!

WELL KUDOS TO SONO MOTORS!!! this industrial group is serious. No PR, just facts. This is the german technolgy we want at work!! thanks SONO!!

The final design is just CGI, the car does not exist yet – only the two year old concept based on BMW parts. I doubt that they will get the funds to make it into production.

As I just need some 25 km a day (yes, sometimes more), I would just have to charge it occasionally in summertime..

I’ve been living almost 20 years on a Caribbean ilsand and my car was all the time parked outside. I was driving 30 km/day from Monday to Friday and probably the double during the weekends. This car may never have needed to be plugged!

You do not need to heat the cabin in the Caraib, and I had no AC on my PSA 106 electric car, it was not an issue at all with tinted glasses and because the car was WHITE. But this car is black! It is ridiculous, you will lose in AC all you got with the solar panels, and if you park in sunny places to maximize electricity production it will probably be even worse!

Excellent idea for a second car, for commuting and for typically shorter drives in metro areas an of course for Europe. The price, a hair under $30k? Also seems right. Cute, boxy and useful, if it meets your needs. Hope to see them on this continent at some point.

In many ways it reminds me of the iMiEV. We own one for five years now and love it.