Sono Motors Presents Sion Solar-Powered Car In Fully Charged: Video

FEB 11 2019 BY MARK KANE 29

Sion – Endless Mobility”

Fully Charged recently meet with Sono Motors, the German start-up founded in 2012, which develops an all-electric solar-powered electric car.

The upcoming Sion model, is a small but very practical car with real-world range of some 250 km (155 miles) and enough solar panels embedded on all flat panels that could replenish up to 30 km (18 miles) during the sunny day.

Inside you can find a lot of space, foldable seats (three independent in the back and passenger seat in the front), which turns Sion into kind of van. There is option to take trailer. The cool things is that Sion has about 3 kW electric outlet to power external devices, as well as Type 2 inlet (beside CCS Combo) dedicated for V2G/V2V purposes.

“When we heard Sono Motors was going to be in the Netherlands, we jumped at the chance of seeing this German company and their ground-breaking solar panel covered Sion.And Jonny got a test drive.”

Sono Sion spec:

  • at least 35 kWh battery
  • 255 km (159 miles) of range (WLTP) – simulated
  • 120 kW and 290 Nm electric motor

Sono Motors Sion

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29 Comments on "Sono Motors Presents Sion Solar-Powered Car In Fully Charged: Video"

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Another great way to enjoy the Sunshine!

A truly Higher Powered EV!

It does add a bit of range, but it remains to be seen if the cost of the solar PV cells on the car is worth it. If the same money can put 4X the capacity on the roof of your house, then that makes even more sense.

….and for those that live in apartments…where are they going to put the panels? Maybe not all solutions have to work for 100% of the people.

The calculation’s been done multiple times. The cost of panels on the car will not be recovered by the extra electricity generated in the vehicle’s lifetime. Their angle isn’t optimal, a vehicle in Europe spends part of its time in covered spaced, and sunlight isn’t that common. Germany isn’t the US Southwest.

Yes, the calculation has been done multiple times and the conclusion is that not everything we do has a ROI…or should have. Also presenting the worst case scenario to make your point is telling…why does this car have to meet everyone’s demands? Is there any car out there that has?

Because spending production raw materials & energy on such panels is bad for the environment.
The #1 and #2 important goals for the planet are (1) Reduce pollution (2) Reduce energy expenditure.
Using such panels makes it likely the car will be expensive to fix in case of accident, and increasing the chance of a non-repairable car that will be orphaned, and the panels can’t be repurposed.

Exactly Mark. Assuming the price isn’t horrendous, this car is perfect for me. I live at a condo and parking there and at work is outside with no charging available. My round trip commute is 13 km. I drive maybe 40km over the weekend. Even assuming I would get half the rated solar range, this would cover all of my city driving.

Go for it, man! I would definitely consider it if they bring it to US…and i don’t live in an apartment and do have panels on my house.

So why are you using a car and not public transport (if you live in a decent-sized European city) or bicycle/e-bicycle or e-moped?

Only if you have a house. Millions of people live in flats and park on the street.

So, the company took BMW i3 skateboard platform, put a custom body on top on that and then visited many cities with a ”test ride” promo shows for a car they never planned to sell! Thousands of people put a reservations for a car which will never be produced! And the one which might be produced, has different drivetrain, different battery, different driving axle (FWD instead of RWD), different size add different price (EUR5000 more)! What was a point for a test rides?!

You already answered your question…
“Thousands of people put a reservations…”

Maybe you should watch the video again.

With that negative attitude, no car company could ever succeed. Hopefully this company will make you eat crow.

Very few do, for good reason. The real money needed isn’t to develop a single prototype, it’s to do homologation & safety testing, infrastructure for volume manufacturing/assembly, build a dealer network & train it to service the cars, maintain parts warehouses… Sion is doing none of that — they can’t, since all they have so far is crowdfunding, and the things mentioned above take hundred of millions of € of real investment.
There is no such thing as an independent, moneymaking small car company and hasn’t been for over 50 years. Even the most famous names in car history all belong to some larger player. Making any amount of money at building new cars requires scale. Scale requires large investment.
This applies to Tesla as well — they would have disappeared 9 months after they were founded, were it not for Musk’s $8M investment which made him the controlling investor.

Yes, according to the video Sono hasn’t even decided whether the car will be FWD or RWD and correspondingly where the motor will be. That’s not credible — even if that doesn’t change weight distribution as much as it would on an ICE, the entire driving dynamics are still different. Drive testing will need to be redone, let alone any safety tests.
And they’re talking rather uncommon materials combo — aluminum+composites+solar panels. That will need lots of testing on its own.
And this talk of having the end customer 3D-print replacement parts, using a rearview mirror housing as an example. Really? In most jurisdictions, it’s illegal to drive without a mirror, so a driver would need to get the replacement ASAP. They’re now supposed to wait the many hours it takes to print such a large part, assuming they even have access to an appropriate 3D printer and proper material type?

I would call it a scam! Even Fully Charged thinks they are driving something developed by some genius students, while they actually are driving an i3. I wonder how long they it will last with delayed production start until the bubble bursts?

I like the simple things, self recharging while you drive, a rear window you can actually see out of, seats that fold truly flat, passenger flat seat, power output port, looks really good, simple, thinking not outside the box but getting back to basics, perfect town / metropolitan car….gone to top of my next EV list!

The biggest piece that was not discussed is the price – it is apparently considerably higher than they originally hoped.

Yep, they apparently expected battery prices to come down far more than they actually did. The car itself is still 16,000€, But the battery went from 4,000€ to 9,500€.

Now, if you ask me personally, that’s probably a marketing move. I highly doubt that any business team can miss *that* badly on securing an affordable battery supplier. A good part of the price hike is likely down to the car itself also costing more to make than expected. But if they shift the cost onto the battery, which was always an aspirational price, then they don’t have to admit missing on the promise of the base price.

It sure got the attention of everyone. I’m curious to see if they can keep costs in check and have a car under $30k.

Not a real car, no way — and by that I mean a car with an actual network of spare parts depot & locations which can service them. That takes a lot of money, which they simply don’t have, and won’t if they continue to rely on crowdfunding. Unless they get a real investor to the tune of multiple-€100M, they’ll be DOA.
The EU is much more consumer-friendly than the US legally speaking. It’s a less litigious atmosphere, true, but it’s still a pretty safe bet that the first few customers that find out they’re having issues getting cars repaired (not due to inherent issues with the engineering/production, necessarily — simply post-accident) will sue, and they’ll get closed down.

18 miles’ charge per sunny day is not bad I’ll say! That’s 18 miles extension. I think it’s more useful for plugin hybrids whose charge is good for 30~50 miles a day

They are now searching for 45 engineers and project managers to construct the car, check their open positions! The car does not exist yet.

how many Wh can this solar EV collect in a single day ? This is the key point to decide about the convenience of a solar car . Moreover how the MPPT works in the solar System ? normally the MPPT base the output current on the lower corrent from the single solar cells. As this car has solar calls on 5 different position, it is sure that more then one side is in the shadow,So that the charging will be minimum. To be credible Sono Motor should give publuc information about real data of the energy this car can collect during each day of the year.

They are still looking for the Solar Integration Engineer to solve this. Check their open positions at sonomotors-jobs dot personio dot de

18mi per sunny day, at 4mi/kWh that’s about 4.5kWh. If you get 4 sunlight his per day, that’s about a 1.2kW solar system. I’ve got 7 panels on my roof that gives 1.5kW, so I’d say this car would be pushing to get 1.2kW out of all the panels in the position they are in, or else the cost will be prohibitively expensive.
I like the idea, but it smacks of high optimism, sort of like describing EV range using NEDC, not impossible, but highly unlikely.

Especially in low-insolation places like Germany. Even more when cars spend a decent % of their time, in Europe certainly, in covered car parks.

Endless if you waste 10 hours for it to charge 18 miles.