It’s only a prototype for now, but Sono Motors’ Sion is arguably the world’s first production solar car, capable of offering “Infinite Mobility” by adding up to 19 miles of photovoltaic range per day.
Deliveries – if the startup manages to reach production status – should kick off in 2019 and anyone can reserve the car, an electric car with built-in solar panels for as little as €500. Germany’s Sono Motors has so far gathered more than €600,000 on crowdfunding site Indiegogo late last year to pay for the development of the Sion EV, which is clad in 7.5 square metres of solar PV embedded in its bodywork. The company said 5,000 pre-orders will be enough to kick off production in 2019.
Integrated solar cells (330 of them) will gather around 18 miles of range per day in addition to around 100 miles of juice stored in the 30 kWh battery. Laurin, Navina, and Jona – three young entrepreneurs from Munich – spent three years developing, building, and testing a pre-prototype of the Sion in Laurin’s garage. They kicked off Sono Motors last year with the campaign, with more than 1,100 preorders. The initial idea was to have two versions – Urban, with 14.4 kWh battery and the Extender, the only one to survive, with the 30 kWh battery for about 110-120 miles of real world range. The car will have five places, instead of six, and a price of €16,000 that doesn’t include the battery – available as monthly battery lease or an upfront battery purchase, estimated by Sono to be €4,000.