The German begin Sono Motors is presently developing the Sono Sion 2023, a fully electric automobile that is solar powered. Its solar cells or the electrical grid can both be used to recharge its batteries. There are many inquiries concerning the capabilities of solar vehicles after the German automaker Sono announced that such Sion solar electric car would be arriving in the US. During a Sion’s first US tour, I personally tested one out and discovered that the solutions are more complex than with a Tesla with a large battery or a Hyundai Ioniq5 with minimal solar charging.
This week, Munich-based company Sono Motors showcased the Sono Sion 2023 EV’s final production design. The Sion EV is a solar-powered electric car that has been in development since Sono Motors‘ debut in 2016. Sono Motors’ path has been long and difficult; it has included a few crowdfunding campaigns, a close call with bankruptcy, and the business’s debut as a publicly listed company on the Nasdaq exchange.
At the crowded “Celebrate the Sun” Community event, the solar-powered results of those somewhat turbulent labors were on display. The Sono Sion 2023 solar powered EV was the star of the show. The Solar Bus Kit, a collection of solar panels made to install onto 12-meter city buses, implies the firm has more expansive aspirations than just one passenger vehicle, though.
Sono plans to start shipping the Sion to clients in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland in the 2nd quarter of 2023. The number of Sions that will be supplied the next year was not specified by the business. According to a corporate spokeswoman, the sole statistic it has provided is that it anticipates producing 43,000 Sions annually with a capacity of 257,000 so over course of seven years.
At $25,000, this car is much more cheap than the majority of EVs available on the American market. There are 465 solar panel half-cells on the car’s exterior, including the roof, doors, fenders, and hood. According to the firm, 70 miles of weekly driving may be powered only by solar energy.
However, the Sono Sion 2023 includes a lithium-iron phosphate battery from Chinese electric vehicle & battery giant BYD with a 190-mile range for longer journeys. A total of 42,000 bookings for the Sion have already been made in Europe, according to Sono, which has a deal with the Finnish business Valmet Automotive to construct the vehicle. By 2030, it is intended to generate 257,000 Sions.
The interior has a more formalized shape and a straightforward design. The Sono Sion 2023 is not simply there to assist you in traveling there by yourself. Your loved ones as well as all necessities are also included. Eco-friendly, daily marvel has a roomy inside that is strong and cozy for any circumstance. Including space for extended legs for even longer trips, heated seats, and height-adjustable seat belts.
Two remarkable elements aggressively draw your attention, going beyond merely catching your eye. The incorporated Icelandic moss, which is the Sion’s standout feature of its revolutionary design, is highlighted from above by a 10 inch display that gives you all the details you want. In addition to providing you with the future’s mobility the Sono Sion 2023 was built to be a car that can be shared. You can share the energy, your trip, and even the car altogether – anywhere and anytime – thanks to Sono Motors app integration.
The spacious trunk and cozy interior of the Sion provide ample space for both you and your belongings. While at the same time, one can concentrate on the fundamentals because the Sion’s interior is so easily navigable and neatly arranged.
The exterior has updated front charging lid, rear lights, with rear camera, bottom sideline design, and headlights with new daylight strip. Additionally, there are new door handles with the words “designed to be shared” on them, hinting to Sono’s desire to place this vehicle in fleets.
Polymer panels with built-in solar cells make up practically the entire exterior of Sono Sion. The Sion would be a small, five-door hatchback that is perfect for families. It will be self-sufficient on shorter travels because to the 456 solar based half-cells that make up its exterior shell. The whole outside of the automobile, including the roof, doors, fenders, and hood, is covered in solar half-cells. The vehicle would still need to use a conventional charger to refill, but the steady stream of solar energy should be sufficient to handle the majority of urban travels.
Black is the only color offered, and it was chosen so that the solar panels, which are already dark, would fit in better. The car’s whole exterior appears matte black on overcast days, while on sunny days, the solar panels become blue-grey, showing the vehicle’s major eco-tech feature.
The illuminated screen of Icelandic Moss, which spans the dashboard, is the focal point of the interior and is eerily reminiscent of concept cars. Other than that, it’s a useful, standard car with five seats, heated front seats, temperature control, Isofix, and more. Sono is also promoting its ride-sharing service, available through its smartphone, which lets you allot how much energy users want others to be able to consume in order to further save expenses.
The Sono Sion 2023 might be a sigh of relief in a market where affordable tiny cars are becoming ever bigger and costlier, to the point where they hardly exist anymore.
If the inside does not yet give you with enough room, the large baggage compartment has enough for all occurrences in life. There is space for everything, including a large shopping excursion, a stroller, and whatever else you need to go from point A to point B.
The electric motor’s output is 163PS (120kW) & 270Nm (199lb ft), allowing it a 0-62 mph acceleration time of nine seconds and a peak speed of 87 mph. Not quite heart-pounding numbers, but totally acceptable for a daily driver.
The Sono Sion 2023 is covered with solar panels all throughout, including on the bonnet, sides, and top, in addition to its roof, which a few other vehicles already have. The solar panels are built into the dent-resistant polymer body panels rather than being slapped onto the vehicle’s existing metal bodywork. Because of this, the car cannot have a glossy paint job or a variety of colors, although Sono claims that production cars here will least be a consistent shade of matte gray black, that is currently in style.
The Sono Sion 2023 claims to have a range of 190 miles on a single charge, although that is just for solar power: About 5,400 miles may be attributed to the sun per year, which works out to an average of 70 to 150 miles each week or ten to twenty miles per day. The solar vehicle equivalent of meticulously locating rooftop solar for feasibility, that’s less than what many Americans drive, and even that much solar range wouldn’t even be spread depending to the weather, seasonality, or where you park, on all days.
The solar location feature in the car’s software will be available when it enters the US and will allow you to estimate how much charge you’ll receive in a certain parking spot. Solar energy won’t replace ordinary plug-in charging for the majority of drivers; rather, it will function as a free, environmentally friendly supplement to it. However, if you use this car only for short journeys and use a different vehicle for longer ones, it might significantly reduce your carbon footprint.
A 54 kWh battery may be charged at a maximum rate of 75 kW using a DC charger & 11 kW using an AC home charger. In other words, it will effortlessly keep filling overnight on your driveway. The anticipated total range is about 190 miles, which isn’t a lot in the context of electric cars, but you can rest easy knowing you’ll be returning to your car each day after work with 10 to 20 more miles of range than that when you left it.
The Sion’s bi-directional charging mechanism, which no traditional, gas-powered car can accomplish, truly highlights the practicality aspect. In essence, an electric car is a huge battery on wheels. The battery may be used to travel or to power other gadgets, such as party lights, an additional electric car, or even an entire house. The only drawback is that you must find a way to recharge it, which presents a challenge if you are off the grid.
At a fast charging point, it takes the Sion around 35 minutes to charge to 80% capacity. Additionally, you may refuel the Sion by using any public charging point in Europe, your ordinary home outlet, or another Sion! You may use your Sion’s power to refuel other electric cars thanks to the on-board bidirectional charger. utilizing the Sun’s power.
The sun produces enough energy in an hour to power the whole world’s population for a full year. We are utilizing this capacity to further decouple the Sion from the grid. The Sion can add up to 245 km of range every week with solar panels that are completely incorporated into its body, on average, under perfect conditions.
The Sono Sion 2023 has the ability to gather and store energy in addition to share it thanks to bidirectional charging technology. To use the Sion as just an energy source, all conventional electrical equipment may be operated & charged with upto 3.7 kW via a home socket (SchuKo). A type 2 plug allows the Sion to supply considerably more electricity.
Then, it is possible to run and charge high-voltage devices up to 11 kW, including electric vehicles. You may use your Sion as a stand-alone charging station also share the saved energy with others thanks to the bidirectional charging mechanism and the Sono app. You choose how much authority you wish to cede. The Sion becomes a mobile charging station because to this feature.
Bluetooth hands-free calling; user profiles for customized settings; climate as well as ambient lighting control; one USB-C port; software updates for ongoing improvements and new features. 10-inch multi-touch display; digital instrument cluster; media: FM/DAB tuner, Bluetooth and USB playback; apps: data on solar power, energy consumption, as well as charging and discharging control.
With Sion, you may use the car without even a key and get up-to-date information on it. All you require is a smartphone. It could first feel strange to share your automobile. However, once you’ve used car sharing, there’s no turning back. Your choice of how long as well as who to share the Sono Sion 2023 is entirely your own.
You may provide a ride for other users through ride sharing. Sharing the energy that is stored within your Sion is simple with Power Sharing. You choose the price and the amount of power you’re ready to share. As a consequence, everyone profits from your Sion, including the environment and your money.
Driver, passenger, & side airbags; front passenger airbags that can be turned off; passenger detection; rear parking help; rear camera; anti-lock brakes; ESP with traction control; electric power steering; front passenger airbags that can be turned off.
Additionally, the Sion features connection that enables keyless sharing with others, allowing you to make some extra money when you’re not driving. Although I don’t think these programs have much appeal in the US marketplace, Sono presumably spends just a little amount of money here to allow them in their vehicles, which makes sharing among family members a bit more convenient.
ABS, the alarm system, driver & passenger (deactivatable) side airbags, front side airbags featuring head and chest protection, and ESP and drive slip control will all be included in the Sion’s equipment list. There will be a cruise control system, heated front seats, and a reverse camera.
Because of concrete canyons or parking garages, drivers in heavily urbanized regions could be able to complete all of the driving inside the solar range of the automobile, but they would also have the least access to sunshine. The car’s capacity to be shared can result in high daily utilization, which is the pinnacle of all future vehicle economy, but that might reduce the car’s restricted solar range to the a footnote in terms of its weekly usage.
When it becomes available in the US, the Sono Sion 2023 is a vehicle to keep an eye on. For the majority of US drivers, its solar narrative isn’t a given, but the vehicle’s cheap price promise and capacity to power a house have transformed it into something more alluring than a solar car. It’s also a fascinating move in the direction of the ultimate goal of EV adoption: making charging equivalent to parking.