Hopefully, the First of Many!
While all-electric vehicles are the rage at the moment, only a few manufacturers are exploring incorporating solar panels onto the vehicles. Sono Motors is one such company that has installed 456 half cells seamlessly into the body of the car (pictured). Even more interesting is Sono Motors used every body panel for solar.
With these solar cells, it can add 112 km (70 miles) driving range per week, or potentially (up to 245 km) 152 miles in optimum conditions. The SION is not the first car to incorporate this technology, but it sure looks the most affordable.
Compared to Lightyear’s offering, a solar electric vehicle I wrote about in a previous article, it is no comparison:
The Lightyear is a different class of vehicle altogether, and it better be for the $270,000 price tag it commands. The Sion comes in at the eye-pleasing base model cost of $30,000, making it much more palatable.
This electric four-door hatchback has a boxy design and looks like a vehicle made for European roads. As I looked further into this, it made even more sense as Sono Motors is located in Munich, Germany. When 2023 production ramps, the Sion will be produced under contract with Valmet Automotive in Uusikaupunki, Finland. As luck would have it, Valmet will also be manufacturing the Lightyear vehicle. As sustainability is held with high regard throughout all manufacturing processes, Sono’s promise is that the Sion will be manufactured with 100% renewable energy.
So now for more details! The vehicle will charge 80% at a fast charging station within 35 minutes or 100% within 60 minutes. Sono has also equipped the Sion with bidirectional charging capabilities (above). This will allow the owner to use the vehicle as a mobile battery source for other electrical equipment. The Sion can also share its charge with other electric vehicles or even your home through an option Wallbox.
On the inside, Sono has designed the seat and steering wheel for comfort, ease of use, and simplicity. The Sion has also added ample storage space throughout the vehicle in both the trunk and cabin. The dash is equipped with a 10" touchscreen display for connectivity (See below)
The Sion is a welcome addition to the ever-expanding offering of electric vehicles, but the fundamental feature is the solar capability. Imagine taking advantage of this vehicle's ability to charge while parked. Just the thought of potentially gaining over 150 miles using the sun's power. It would become a goal of mine to see how long I could go without charging. You aren’t buying this vehicle based on the battery range, which will leave you wanting more with 245km (189miles).
If this article piqued your interest in this ride, don’t expect to take delivery of this vehicle until the second half of 2023!