SONO Motors Sion - solar powered car

  • Thread starter 05XR8

Production of the Sion is yet to commence, but the popularity of the €23,900 (AUD$37,230) small hatch has been “solid” since it debuted online at the Consumer Electronics Show in January this year Sono Motors COO Thomas Hausch said.

Cheaper than Europe’s current EV price leaders – the MG ZS and Volkswagen ID.3 – the Sono Motors Sion is able to drive up to 34km from solar power alone with power provided by 248 polymer photovoltaic cells embedded in the car’s body.

Hausch says that the ability to charge the vehicle from the sun means it requires only 25 per cent of the charging time of a regular EV, the charge feeding a 35kWh liquid-cooled battery that can provide the Sion with up to 255km of driving range.

The Sion is powered by a single electric motor which produces 120kW/270Nm to provide a top speed of 140km/h. Like other EVs it can provide power to remote devices, other vehicles, and even homes. The ability to charge the vehicle from the sun means it also reduces home power bills and lessens the burden on electrical infrastructure.
Solar power is hardly the most reliable of energy sources, but as a supplement on top of the typical plug-in method it makes sense. I wouldn't be surprised to see this setup be gradually adopted by some other manufacturers as the cost of production drops to "the beancounters aren't upset" levels.

Also interesting that one of the key selling points is that owners are encouraged to do their own work on the car:

Our clever 3-step maintenance system keeps repair costs as low as possible.

  1. DIY is back. You can change standard replacement parts by yourself, without needing much prior knowledge.
  2. By publishing a workshop handbook, we make it possible to establish an extensive network of independent mechanics.
  3. For any repairs involving high-voltage or body parts, we cooperate with a well-known European service provider.

That said, production isn't expected to start until 2023, so I guess we'll have to wait and see if they can hold to their price point between now and then.
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I haven't looked into it, but I would have thought solar panels would be in high-end cars, for that charging purpose.

Was it Mercedes that used solar panels to cool the car? Can't remember.