German start-up Sono Motors recently at CES 2021 expo, showcased its solar powered electric car, the Sion solar.
The Sion solar is a spacious electric car with a range of up to 255 kilometers that charges itself through the power of the sun.
The second-gen Sion features 248 photovoltaic panels integrated into the vehicle’s body that will top up its battery pack during daylight hours, for up to 20 miles of extra range per day.
Combining them with a 35-kWh battery that can be charged through a standard EV charger. The idea is that the vehicle’s battery can get a bit of a top up from solar energy while it’s sitting in the parking lot or even stuck in traffic. The Sion’s maximum range is 158 miles, but it can recharge itself enough for up to 20 miles worth of driving each day if it’s sunny. Its top speed of 87 miles per hour is low enough to keep you on the highway, that isn’t a real problem for some.
Solar panels on the doors and roof aids in harvesting some energy when the sun is low on the horizon or if the roof becomes dusted with snow.
The Sion can add up to 245 km (112 km on average) of driving range per week through solar energy to the car’s battery. Full self-sufficiency on short distances.
Sono also installed series-intended components such as the electric drive unit, vehicle control unit, MPPT Central Unit, thermal system, bi-directional on-board charger, and more. The company has opted for electric drive from Continental, which offers 150-kW peak power, 60-kW continuous power and 175 Nm (129 lb.ft) of torque.
We are tremendously proud to deliver on our promise to our community to showcase a product that can drive the transition to a solar-powered future. This journey started in a garage with a simple idea and has become a great force thanks to the overwhelming support of our community. I speak for our entire team when I say that the next generation Sion prototype is just the beginning, and we are keen to set through to realize our goal. We are looking forward to continuing our progress to deliver the first Solar EV for everyone.Sono’s co-founder and CEO, Laurin Hahn
Sono Motors says in the event of a hail storm or crash that damages a door or the hood of its SEV, the solar panels are replaceable. The corrosion-resistant aluminum spaceframe and polymer shell of the prototype will likely be the same for the series production model. Inside, the infotainment system has been installed for the first time, and joins the Island Moss-based air filtration system, which has proven to be quite the talking point throughout the development years.
Our natural air filter system breSono is a design highlight. We’ve integrated Island Moss into the dashboard and center console to complement the artificial air filter. breSono continuously improves the interior air quality while having a positive influence on the car’s interior humidity. When testing the efficiency of the moss, we found that it filters up to 20 percent of particulate matter out of the air. Since the moss no longer has an enzymatic reaction when in this condition, you don’t even need to take any special care of it. The moss is also easy to replace during a regular filter change.Co-founder Jona Christians
Sono has been working on the companion mobile app too, which will allow owners to check up on the vehicle’s location, battery status and solar charging level, as well as remotely control cabin temperature and lighting, afford keyless entry and so on. The app is also central to Sono’s plans for the car to be used in ride sharing, car pooling and power sharing – with users in total control of who gets access to the vehicle and for how long.
Production was estimated to start in 2022, but COVID-19 has caused a few delays.
The global crisis caused by COVID-19 had an impact across the automotive and technology sector, hence on Sono Motors and its suppliers, In response, we have adopted a laser-sharp focus on the delivery and development of the second prototype. With this strategy, we were able to deliver on our promise and continue our technology development through the crisis. We are looking forward to providing an updated development timeline as soon as possible, over the coming months.Co-founder Jona Christians
The Sion Solar EV is up for pre-order now for an initial payment of $600 towards a full purchase price of $30,000.