Electric vehicles do not produce emissions. However, what if you can combine solar panels with electric vehicles? This will reduce dependence on electricity that might come from emission-producing power plants for charging.
This is the second part of our series of articles on solar electric vehicles (SEVs). Here, we look at the Sono Sion.
German EV startup Sono has the mission to make affordable electric cars that you can use conveniently without installing a home charger. This is why it turned to the sun to charge the battery instead of the sun.
The Sion does not look any different from other electric cars, despite its brutal, utilitarian body. However, embedded in the body are solar panels, about 250 of them. They are on the roof, bonnet, and car sides for maximum exposure to the sun. The Sion is constantly harvesting sunlight, even when in motion and when the sun is bright or not.
Using the weather conditions of Munich in Germany, the Sion SEV can add up to 22 miles of range per day, although you might average 10 miles per day. If that is not enough for you, the Sion can charge its battery at up to 75 kW, or from 0 to 80% in about 35 minutes.
The Sion is a budget electric vehicle, so Sono is not competing on the range. The 54 kWh battery will last 190 miles on a single charge. However, the car is capable of bi-directional charging, meaning it can send power out of its battery to charge another vehicle or even power your household.
Inside, the Sion continues to be minimalist, with just enough to ensure a comfortable ride. There is a touchscreen display for accessing the settings, while the driver’s seat is a little elevated to give a clearer view of the road.
One quirky feature is a layer of moss from Iceland placed behind an illuminated case that runs the length of the dashboard. It serves as a natural air purifier for the car.
Everybody will drive a black Sion since that is the only color available. However, Sono is trying to limit production costs by eliminating options as much as possible.
Sono says the Sion will be produced with 100% renewable energy. However, despite being a Germany-based startup, Sono will make the car in Sweden in a plant formerly used by Saab in Trollhattan. It hopes to produce about 50,000 units a year.
If you get your hands on one, Sono hopes you enjoy fixing some issues yourself in DIY style and will release videos on how to do so. There is a Sono App that lets you share your Sion or rides with others. But you can do much more with the app as it controls the car and gives real-time data. It also allows you to share your charge at a price you want.
The Sion SEV costs 28,500 euros, and you can place your order on the company’s website. Sono reports it has logged 15,000 reservations. Deliveries will start in 2023.