The next evolution in the electric car industry seems to be production-ready solar-powered vehicles like the Sono Sion.
Sono Motors from Germany has come up with an affordable production-ready solar electric car, the Sion. While an overtly vast majority of the world is still in the transition phase from IC engines to electric powertrains, a few new players have taken the still nascent industry onto the next stage. Yes, we are discussing the production-spec solar-powered electric cars. Sono Sion will go into production in the second half of 2023.
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Valmet Automotive has been chosen by Sono Motors as the company to build the Sion in Uusikaupunki, Finland. Valmet Automotive is a carbon-neutral company and is also responsible for the manufacturing of the Lightyear 0 solar electric car. Under its 7-year contract starting in 2023, Valmet will provide 257,000 EVs to Sono Motors, with the aim to ramp up the production to 43,000 per year.
Sono Sion Solar Electric Car – Specs
The Sono Sion will come equipped with 456 integrated solar half-cells on its outer shell (hood, fenders, roof, sides and rear) covered with a durable polymer. These will absorb sunlight even on cloudy days. Under ideal conditions, the carmaker claims a range of 112 km on average (up to a max of 245 km) per week can be added just by these solar panels. In addition to that, the 54 kWh Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) battery is good for a decent range of 305 km (WLTP).
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|Battery||54 kWh (LFP)|
|Range||305 km (WLTP)|
|Power / Torque||164 hp / 270 Nm|
|Top Speed||140 km/h|
|Charging (European Household Plug – 3.7 kW)||0-80% in 12.5 hours|
|Charging (Type 2 – 11 kW)||0-80% – 4 hours & 0-100% – 5 hours|
|Charging (CCS Fast Charging – 75 kW)||0-80% – 35 mins|
Sono Sion Solar Electric Car – Features
As far as the features go, the Sono Sion has you covered for the basics. However, you must keep in mind that this is going to be one of the most affordable EVs out there which means that the cabin quality or modern features are not the priority of the German EV maker. Having said that, the Sion will come with a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Sono App for connectivity features (like car sharing, pool sharing, e-calling and power sharing, etc.), digital driver’s display for the information, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, user profiles, cruise control, Bi-directional charging up to 11 kW, integrated moss underneath the dashboard highlighting the natural element, and ambient lighting color.
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In terms of the safety equipment, the Sono Sion will come with ABS, airbags (driver, passenger and side), ESP (Electronic Stability Program) with traction control, ISOFIX child seat mounts, rear parking camera with parking assist. There will also be a tow hook for those odd cases where you need to pull a trailer or your car needs pulling.
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The overall shape of the Sono Sion is that of an MPV or a cargo Van. Here are its actual dimensions.
|Widht (with mirrors)||2080 mm|
|Ground Clearance||165 mm|
|Boot Space||650 liters|
Although the production of the Sono Sion is still more than a year away, the price estimates for the European market are quite impressive. The German EV maker expects the entry-level model to cost as low as €25,126 ($25,499).