For those unfamiliar, the Sono Sion is set to be a solar-charged EV like the Aptera. But unlike the Aptera, it has a much more conventional hatchback shape.
The 2018 Nissan Scion EV looks a lot like the popular Leaf. A 35 kWh and 400 volt battery keeps his five-seater hatchback with his pack producing 120 kW of power and slightly less torque, but like his fellow electric cars he can cover 150 miles. It predicts the estimated cruising range. The only major difference in this vehicle, however, is the rear-wheel drive setup. This changes his driving dynamics, but ultimately has little practical impact for most drivers.
A 50kW CCS plug and 11kW Type 2 AC charger make refueling your car in Europe quick and easy. Charge up to 80% with DCFC within 30 minutes or get a quick charge with AC charging in 4-5 hours.
For the Sion, Solon Motors chose only one color option — black. This helps keep production costs low and was favored by pre-order customers when presented in a poll. . In addition, you can learn more about choosing paint. clean technica 2018 interview with co-founder and CEO Laurin Hahn (video here).
The Sion may be your typical low-end EV, but it’s the special features that set it apart.
The car’s most obvious feature is the integrated solar power charging system. Solar cells are installed on every available surface, from the three sunroofs to the doors to the hatchback, and can charge the equivalent of 19 miles or 1.2 kW per day when conditions are optimal. This is equivalent to a US level 1 charger.
When the sun is out, you’re ready to go. Cells pick up energy even on shaded or cloudy days! From start to finish, the vehicle is continuously powered. No additional set-up required and on long drives mild range he acts like an extender.
Daily additional range estimates from Sion’s 2019 Solar are included in this chart.
The vehicle also has bi-directional charging, which we planned to make available via the app. If you have extra juice and want to sell it to other drivers, you can keep it available in the app for charging sessions even if you’re not there. It also comes with a factory-installed hitch and a rated 1500-pound towing capacity (very important for European customers).
Sono struggled to attract investors in 2019
Later that year, many readers sent me links to news that the company was in some trouble. Innovative clean technology may be impressive, but clean technica Readers and nerds are like us everywhere, but the investment community tends to be more cautious.
No further details were given about what happened, but apparently the inventors and potential investors disagreed. Sion said investors could dismantle the company and take the technology without making cars, but it’s entirely possible investors just thought solar cars weren’t worth the risk. We don’t know for sure, but in any case the company went to its customers for more money rather than trying to do something different to impress investors.
Sono survived another 3 years and produced a better production vehicle
A book could probably be written about the development process, but this is clear. The company has survived his 2019 issues and continued the development and testing process. The car ended up all over the world for testing and it was decided to expand sales to the US.
A few months ago, clean technica Our own Tina Casey concluded that Sion is worth the wait.
company needs more money
At the time of writing this article, if you visit the Sono Motors website, things are pretty self-explanatory. In order to save Sion, Sono must pay his 3,500 for the vehicle in full. And they should get this done by late January. As of this writing, he’s a third of that way with about 25 days left.
Another page on the company’s website explains the situation more fully.
“We weren’t able to raise enough money. Having gone through multiple global crises, most investors are risk averse and looking to more mature companies.They want us not to make cars, to restructure companies. to, and lay off 70% of our employees, refund our community, and ignore Sion and our reservation owners, but for us, this is simply not an option. We have to give people the opportunity to take action. That’s why we started this campaign. We’re working on #savings. How about you?”
Sono goes on to explain that when campaign goals are met and enough capital is generated, there will be a positive ripple effect. Your investment of money and trust is the foundation that drives this mission forward. This will not only allow us to find new investors, but also cover all the necessary machinery, tools and production costs for pre-series production up to 2023, allowing us to start mass production following 2024. .
The company further explains that the money could keep the company alive initially, but it would prove worth investing in the company when future investors move into full production. .
It’s worth noting that Sono isn’t the only solar car company currently facing investor skepticism. Aptera has a decidedly unconventional design, rushing all sorts of investments currently available for production.
At this point, it’s clear that solar car technology has emerged, but whether it will go mainstream or enter production is the big question in 2023.
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