Sono Sion Unveiled, World’s First Production Solar Car!
Today Sono Motors unveiled its prototype electric and solar car, the worlds first series production bound solar powered car, with deliveries expected in 2019.
Integrated solar cells (330 to be exact) on the Sion’s body produce enough electricity to add around 18 miles of range per day in addition to the ~100 miles it has from plugging in its 30 kWh battery.
Although technically not completely a solar car (since by definition a solar car is significantly powered by solar) it’s about halfway there.
It all started with three young entrepreneurs from Munich who had a passion to see some changes toward sustainable mobility by becoming independent from oil. Laurin, Navina, and Jona spent three years developing, building, and testing a pre prototype of the Sion in Laurin’s garage.
Aiming to bring to market an affordable EV for all, last July they launched Sono Motors along with a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to help raise needed funds for building a couple prototypes for show and test drives. The campaign was a big success with over €600,000 raised and more than 1,100 preorders.
Originally the Sion was going to be offered in two models, an Urban model priced at €12,000 with a 14.4 kWh battery giving a real world range of 50-60 miles, and an Extender model priced at €16,000 featuring a 30 kWh battery providing around 110-120 miles of real world range. But last week the decision was announced to only develop the Extender model and drop the Urban model due to weak demand because of its low range.
Another change from the original concept is that there will only be 5 seats instead of 6 in order to keep production costs low.
The price of €16,000 ($18,720 USD currently) does not include the price of the 30 kWh battery which will be offered as a monthly battery lease or an upfront battery purchase, estimated by Sono to be €4,000, which is $4,680 USD by today’s exchange rate.
Estimated final cost in USD is expected to be in the $23,000 range with production in 2019, and test drives next summer in the U.S.
Some notable features are it’s bi directional charging which can turn the car into a mobile power station with up to 2.7 kW output, a special moss for air filtration, and an optional 750 kg capacity trailer hitch (1654 lbs.)
Fast charging is supported, but no details are available yet.