Sono Motors, a Munich-based company pioneering solar-powered mobility, recently held its first "Celebrate the Sun" Community event, where it unveiled two groundbreaking products: the Sion, the world's first affordable solar electric vehicle (SEV) for the masses, in its production design, and the 'Solar Bus Kit,' a scalable B2B retrofit solution that reduces fuel consumption and inner-city greenhouse gas emissions [[SOURCE 1]].
The Sion: Key Milestones Towards Series Production Achieved
The Sion, developed by Sono Motors, is an affordable and reliable SEV that aims to revolutionize sustainable transportation. The vehicle's unique market position, coupled with Sono Motors' proprietary Sono Solar Technology, positions the company perfectly to contribute to a more sustainable future and enable individual contribution to climate-friendly mobility [[SOURCE 1]].
In its final production design, the Sion has received significant enhancements compared to earlier concepts. The exterior and interior now feature fewer lines and clearer surfaces. The revamped exterior design includes new headlights and rear lights, a new bottom sideline design, new door handles, a streamlined rear with new camera and 3D lines, and a new charging lid. Inside, the Sion offers a more spacious and cleaner interior with increased storage, newly designed front seats and rear bench, and a new steering wheel. The Sion also offers new color and trim options for interior surfaces [[SOURCE 1]].
The Sion's outer shell consists of 456 seamlessly integrated solar half-cells, enabling self-sufficiency on short journeys. The energy generated by the solar cells is expected to extend the estimated 305 km range of the Sion's 54 kWh LFP battery by an average of 112 km (up to 245 km) per week. Commuters in German metropolitan areas will have to charge their Sion up to four times less than conventional electric cars of the same vehicle class with a similar battery size. The battery allows for a maximum charging capacity of up to 75 kW (DC) and 11 kW (AC). The Sion also features bidirectional charging technology, which turns the vehicle into a sustainable power plant on wheels, capable of powering electronic devices, homes, or other electric cars with an output of up to 11 kW [[SOURCE 1]].
Sono Motors is currently building its fleet of series-validation vehicles in Munich, close to the company's headquarters. This fleet will undergo uncompromising practical tests under extreme conditions in both Europe and the U.S. These tests include series validation, homologation, crash tests, testing in different climates, optimizing solar technology, and refining driving dynamics on test tracks and public roads. The start of production is planned for the second half of 2023 through contract manufacturing in Finland, with the aim of producing approximately 257,000 Sion vehicles within seven years [[SOURCE 1]].
Solar Bus Kit: Enabling Sustainable Mobility for Commercial Transport
Sono Motors has also introduced the 'Solar Bus Kit,' a versatile and straightforward retrofit solution optimized for the most common 12-meter public transport bus types on the European market, including Mercedes-Benz Citaro and MAN Lion's City. This kit offers a complete and efficient solution for bus fleet operators who aim to reduce diesel consumption and CO2 emissions to meet their sustainability goals [[SOURCE 1]].
The Solar Bus Kit allows subsystems like the HVAC to be partially powered by renewable energy, resulting in fuel, CO2, and cost savings. With a peak installation of approximately 1.4 kW and a total size of about 8 square meters of solar panels, the kit can save up to 1,500 liters of diesel and up to 4 tonnes of CO2 per bus per year. Bus fleet operators can expect a potential payback time of approximately 3-4 years, depending on operational days and fuel prices. Sono Motors will provide more details about the Solar Bus Kit during the IAA Transportation event in September [[SOURCE 1]].
Sono Motors' Business Diversification and Partnerships
Sono Motors is well on track with its plan to diversify its business and has already delivered customized solar solutions to several B2B customers. The company is partnering with 19 companies worldwide, including MAN Truck & Bus and CHEREAU, to implement its Sono Solar Technology on various vehicle architectures such as buses, trailers, trucks, and electric transporters. By offering lightweight and adaptable solutions, Sono Motors enables customers in the transportation industry to reduce costs and emissions throughout their fleets [[SOURCE 1]].
Sono Motors' recent "Celebrate the Sun" Community event marked a significant milestone in the company's journey towards providing clean, affordable, and accessible solar transportation. The debut of the Sion in its production design and the unveiling of the 'Solar Bus Kit' demonstrate Sono Motors' commitment to reducing carbon emissions and contributing to climate protection. With its innovative solar technology and strategic partnerships, Sono Motors is poised to make a lasting impact on the future of sustainable mobility [[SOURCE 1]].