Sono Motors shows production-ready solar-powered car, unveils retrofit kit for buses

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Sono Motors has debuted the production style of its Sion, a battery-electrical crossover that takes advantage of solar cells to make energy and increase variety.

The Munich-based startup, which trades on the Nasdaq under SEV, pitches the Sion as “the world’s initially cost-effective solar electric auto.”

At a Munich occasion Monday, Sono also unveiled a photo voltaic kit for diesel buses that transit products and services can use to offer power to subsystems this kind of as HVAC and lessen gasoline consumption and emissions.

But in the Sion, photo voltaic will assistance refill the batteries that electrical power propulsion. The motor vehicle capabilities 456 photo voltaic 50 percent-cells that create plenty of energy to incorporate about 70 to 150 miles for each week to the vary, depending on weather conditions and driving ailments. It is sufficient photo voltaic power to “allow self-sufficiency on limited journeys,” the organization reported. The Sion’s 54-kilowatt-hour lithium iron phosphate battery has an estimated vary of 189 miles.

Advertising level of photo voltaic

Supplementing the car or truck with photo voltaic-generated power gives up to four occasions more vary than observed on autos with the same battery dimension, reported Laurin Hahn, co-founder and CEO of Sono Motors.

“That is the selling stage of solar,” he told Automotive News.

The Sion’s battery has a optimum charging capability of up to 75 kilowatts DC and 11 kW AC. Bidirectional charging enabled by the car’s photo voltaic panels enables powering of digital devices, a residence or even other electric cars at up to an 11-kW output.

Sono is creating a fleet of validation automobiles in Munich. The business stated they would be examined in Europe and the U.S. in different climates. The screening will address validation, homologation, crash security and bettering the solar technologies and driving dynamics on take a look at tracks and community roadways.

The Sion has an believed rate of about $26,000. Sono mentioned it had more than 19,000 reservations for the motor vehicle at the start of July, each and every with an regular down payment of about $2,300. Production will start off in the second fifty percent of 2023, Hahn said.

“We plan to create 257,000 automobiles with Valmet Automotive, our contract producer that makes the Mercedes-Benz GLC and GLA,” Hahn reported.

Sono ideas to sector the Sion in Europe 1st.

“But there is huge probable in other marketplaces, and we will shortly disclose them,” Hahn added.

Add-on for community transport buses

The corporation also has its eyes on even larger autos. Its Photo voltaic Bus Kit is an include-on for 12-meter public transport buses these types of as the Mercedes-Benz Citaro and Person Lion Metropolis.

The package can preserve up to virtually 400 gallons of diesel and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 4 tons for each bus for every calendar year when working with about 8 square meters of solar panels, according to Sono.

It “has a payback time of in between a few and four yrs, and these buses run for 10, 15, 20 a long time,” Hahn stated.

Sono is focusing on diesel motor vehicles first.

“We are targeting a marketplace of 10,000 autos for the upcoming 10 a long time and exactly where we see massive potential of preserving fossil fuels,” Hahn claimed.

The organization has not released pricing details for the package.

Sono is partnering with 19 companies throughout the world, which includes Gentleman Truck & Bus and fridge-truck maker Cherea to carry out its retrofit package on a wide range of motor vehicles, such as buses, trailers, vans and electrical transporters. It is also partnered with logistic large Rhenus to establish a prototype previous-mile supply auto with photo voltaic integration.

“There’s enormous potential in logistics,” Hahn said. “They require to transfer to zero emissions and are urgently searching for answers. This is a single of them.”

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