Form follows function. Sion in series design.

Since the Sion from the 2. Half year 2020 to be built at the Göta Älv, he has of course aroused my interest. An appointment of Mark and me in Munich is due in June, because we would like to get to know Sono Motors better. While the startup still shows the prototypes on the test drives, the final design of the series is already certain.

So the Sion should go into series
So the Sion should go into series. Image: Sono Motors

At first glance you can see that the design has gained noticeably and is more pleasing than that of the test vehicles. Additional windows suggest a bright and friendly interior. Together with the striking edgy shape, the Sion stands out from the automotive environment. Its design suggests a good all-round view and a high utility value, only with the view to the rear it can be tight. More details will be known only 2020 during a test drive.

The shape follows the function

The 248 solar panels, which make the Sion a Solar Electric Vehicle (SEV), are neatly integrated into the body. The modules are expected to generate up to 35 kilometers of range per day, depending on the season.

In Munich one speaks of a unique selling point, which however is not completely correct. Because in the Netherlands rolls with the Lightyear One a second startup SEV on the stage. Its approach is as committed to sustainability as the Sion, but the value of the partially Swedish electric car should be significantly higher. Since all Sion can be supplied in any color, if it is black, the panels are hardly noticeable to the casual observer. A vote of the Sion community that has decided so. Maybe the decision is correct because it makes the Sion look like a conventional vehicle. Maybe it was wrong. Because the actual innovation, the integrated solar modules, are not obvious at first glance.

Nevertheless, and maybe because of that, the Sion is a vehicle that pleasantly stands out from the mainstream. No big show, no showmanship. The utility value as a car sharing car is in the foreground. The form follows the function, coincidentally a maxim from Saab and the credo of how cars were built in the 80s. Words such as “space economy” are no longer used today, however, because a lot of space for people in as compact an area as possible seems to be out of fashion.

In Munich they work against the trend. The Sion could be a project that represents a new way of thinking. Not vain, but well thought out and with a high utility value. This is also supported by the optional trailer hitch, which is still a rarity in electric cars, and the ability to use a Sion to donate energy to another electric vehicle. It remains to be seen whether Sono Motors will ultimately remain so consistently puristic in the interior. Pictures of the final design have not yet been published.

Battery module from German production

What Sion is doing fits in well with the enormous change the auto industry is going through at the moment. How the company around founder Laurin Hahn, who is only 24 years old, thinks and acts, Mark and I will soon be exploring in Munich. In any case, we are excited.

Behind the Sion are in a development partnership German auto suppliers such as Bosch and Elringklinger. The company from Dettingen / Erms is a traditional part of the automotive industry and world market leader in the field of cylinder head gaskets. The relatively young business field of alternative drives has been taking the change into account since 2011. For the Sion, Elringklinger supplies the liquid-cooled 48 V battery module, which is designed for a total system voltage of up to 800 V. According to Sono Motors, it relies on a technology that requires less of the controversial raw material cobalt than conventional solutions. With the 35 kWh battery, the Sion will travel 250 kilometers according to WLTP. The module is to be produced at a German location.

But the battery module will be twice as expensive as originally planned by the Munich startup. Press reports write from € 9.500, the price of the Sion rose to € 25.000. That hasn't stopped 10.000 pre-orderers from reserving a Sion and making a deposit.

34 thoughts on "Form follows function. Sion in series design."

  • I REVIEW ...

    ... and I'm right: 1,15% of the world's population emits 0,575% of global CO2 emissions through individual traffic. Make whatever he wants out of it.

    And the factor between the global per capita average and our CO2 output is just 2. Considering the fact that we have to heat in winter and as a so-called export world champion industrially emit CO2, which consume others (but we still counted), I think this balance is not so bad.

  • Well, now I have to recalculate everything.
    I trusted you and my comment is on its way ...

    Now everything that is there is just a little bit off by a factor of 10 and Old Swede is no longer so wrong. Shit happens and mistakes happen. No offense. But a factor of almost 10 in the name of mankind, the world and its supposed salvation, I find quite violent ...

    But you have corrected it. That also deserves respect. Thanks a lot for this.

  • Otherwise calculated:

    0,12% of the world's population emit 0,575% of the worldwide CO2 output through private transport alone.
    Just about the factor 5 of what we would be entitled to if we didn't want to save and didn't have to. Just by private transport, mind you ...

    Overall, we are close to the factor 20. Shocking and just the traffic alone is not acceptable. That's right, no doubt.

    And yet the commentary of Alter Schwede has its justification. If we cause 75% of our CO2 output outside of individual traffic, we would still be walking even on foot to a factor 15 over the world population average.

    One can and should start pondering what an energy transition should look like overall and which priorities we should set and when. And it certainly doesn't hurt to ponder it a little. Rather, it is blind activism and hastily found panaceas that scare me very much ...

    These are the historical recurrence case. Are the renewed search for the one and only holy grail.
    Mankind has always reliably failed. And she will fail again.

    We need diverse and local (decentralized) solutions.
    The large-scale and all-encompassing, the holy grail has always and reliably failed.

  • Addendum: I have to correct myself, however. In Germany live 1,15% of the world population.

  • It reads so harmlessly, but it definitely isn't. The facts: 0.12% of the world population (Germany) cause 2,3% of Co2 emissions according to your figures. So not only do we take too big a piece of the pie, but we also assume that we can go on like this with the tolerance of others to their disadvantage.

    That is not acceptable.

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  • Germany has a share of around 2% of global Co2,3 emissions. The share of private transport is almost 25% of this. We can all walk from tomorrow. The climate won't change. The energy industry, heavy industry, etc. should be put to the test, but not the car.

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  • Fiskar also had solar cells on the roof, making it up to 35km, but the car was a hybrid - I'm looking forward to the report from Munich !!

  • The solar cells have to be placed somewhere, which should recharge the ~ 30 km range in the sunshine. In this respect, it is probably already logical to relocate the viewing slots to the rear instead of obstructing them at the front, where the restrictions would be even more uncomfortable.

    If I understood correctly about the color, there was a choice of white or black and in a vote the 'community' decided on black. If the 'community' should be a representative cross-section of car buyers, it is likely that the current vehicles are often so dark because the customers want them to be. Or you didn't like the contrast between the dark solar cells and the white body. At least I think it is clever to ask potential customers which color they prefer in order to have as large a potential customer base as possible.

    A color is of course not a large selection, but apparently it shouldn't be found anywhere in the equipment. A model and that's it for now. Possibly a business option for foiling, if there are foils with enough transparency not to stifle solar charging completely ...

  • BY-PRODUCTS ...

    ... are a good keyword. We cannot and must not throw anything away. THE traffic and THE (only) drive or energy concept must not exist. It is sad that the future is still being discussed (and decided) under this premise ...

    It has long been clear that we cannot afford to throw away by-products instead of using everything “that is already there” as completely as possible. This clearly has to be rethought in line with your comment.

  • What I miss with the Sion, and what makes it - besides all the good ideas - a car that I currently don't like:
    - At the back it becomes more of a cage again, the window areas become smaller, the (perceived and visual) connection to the outside world decreases. Are there specific technical or corporate reasons for this?
    - He's black, as I only read. This makes the traffic darker, less peaceful, and also lets the car heat up more than necessary in the sun. There are several reasons in favor of light colors or white, which I find more suitable for such a car - and the concept then also more consistently carried out.
    Together it doesn't seem consistent enough to me. At SAAB, I found the consistent up to one point, this honest and real sticking to the good car and (not only the) “form follows function”, interesting and is a large part of my reasons for driving the cars.

  • ... or LPG or other (secondary) products that arise in production processes and are otherwise little or not used?
    I have the impression that there is enough of what is already there and can be used - with further deepening and possibly also support.

  • This will take some time, the appointment is only at the end of the month. I am happy if the topic meets your interest!

  • NATURAL ENERGY SOURCES & STORAGE

    The pioneer and visionary Henry Ford once postulated that the fuel of the future was vegetable. He originally wanted to build and optimize his XT-built Ford-T for E1928.

    In the Germany of these days “gasoline” was marketed under the name Monopolin with a certain exclusivity (the name was the program), which was after all E25. Plants need light. Ethanol and firewood are everything at the same time - both renewable and CO2-neutral energy sources and storage, and also the naturally and independently growing and completely compostable “solar cell” in Union.

    Pretty good and sophisticated, this nature ...

    Whether we solve this technically better, with less use of resources and less space requirements?
    One can be curious. And one can doubt ...

    The storage for (technically harvested) solar and wind energy are problematic anyway.
    Hydrogen would at least be an option, albeit a controversial one ...

  • Presumably we will have a mix of many drive types in the next few years. Depending on what is better for the respective environment you just stop with hydrogen or batteries. And on long-haul (maybe ???) still a diesel, at least the hydrogen history is so far.

  • That's way too monocausal for me.

    China was still building new (!) Steam locomotives in the 1980s, putting them into circulation and driving them across the city to the central train station ...

    Electricity, heating, traffic, almost yesterday they had relied on coal in all areas and built power plants in such a way that they faced the wind in the direction of the city, which then lay in a basin together with the power plant (s) and industry ...

    Road traffic also did not develop according to Western standards for many years.

    You must consider all parameters if you want to validate the progress of Chinese air pollution control. The bottom line is one thing definitely NOT stand:

    The air pollution was created solely by the individual traffic, it had assumed a modern and western motor vehicle with internal combustion engines and turned off solely by the promotion of electric mobility.

    That really belongs in the storybook ...

  • That is the subject. Our second car also drives pathetic short distances. The size of the SION would be ideal and with the solar cells you probably don't even have to “fill up” in summer. The price would also be in the budget.

    Let's see what Tom from Munich will report.

  • The Chinese have been staunchly successful in electromobility for some time. That's what they did because they could not breathe the air in their cities without harm to their health. Your point is that the air quality has improved a lot there.

    If our automotive industry does not understand this change, it will certainly be sawed off by the Chinese. They have their saws already in work.

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  • You just can't believe the lies of the German automotive industry, the oil companies and their lobbyists. But there is also a lot of talk among the supporters of electromobility.

    It is omitted in the internal combustion engines much in the environment and energy balance.
    For example, it is kept secret that a large amount of thermal energy is usually required for the production of gasoline or diesel fuel for refining. This means that around 1/3 as much CO2 is produced for the production of petrol as for combustion in the engine. In addition, the gasoline must also be transported to the petrol stations. Furthermore, it is kept secret that with every cold start the fuel content for the combustion increases, which not only results in more CO2 emissions, but also drastically increases the environmental impact of other pollutants such as CO.

    A cold start in combustion engines damages the environment like 500Km drive. That's why we need a combination of electric, short-range, short-haul and hybrid long-haul vehicles.

    If you drive long distances only once or twice a year, you can hire a hybrid car or a car with an internal combustion engine and otherwise drive an electric car.
    VW offers its customers with electric twice a year to use a free rental car with internal combustion engine.

  • Yes, that would also defuse the excessive range discussion.
    I am a driver by profession. For my work, a Tesla would not be suitable. For me private, the situation looks very different. With our private car (Toyota Yaris Hybrid), my wife drives 5Km back to work every day and 5Km. A bike is out of the question, because she has to work in shifts at midnight in the dark on lonely country roads. In addition, she travels twice a week to 2Km for sports and back. In addition, every now and then no trips for shopping (up to 10Km distance). Then we make a few Vesuxhe (until 40Km distance) and once or twice a year we drive to the Baltic Sea (80Km distance). These are, except for the few trips to the Baltic Sea, only short distances. For this we do not need a car with a long range. Such short-circuits are poison for an internal combustion engine. They do not hurt an electric motor. Since an electric car is ideal.

  • The fuel is energetically ineffective, because the production of hydrogen requires a lot of energy and the hydrogen for a respectable range on 350 or 700 must be compressed bar, which in turn requires a lot of energy. That's why hydrogen is very expensive.

  • That's exactly the idea of ​​Sono Motors. Fewer cars instead of more. That's why Sono Motors also uses mobility services like Car Sharing Ride Shairing with its Go Sono.

  • This youth, with its media-fueled green auto-aggressive cretinism, cuts off all the levers for the country's future, and will end up well-deserved as a Chinese colony, rocking on the camel on Sundays for the next stoning.
    Battery cars are a bad joke and the Chinese laugh out loud at the end, because our people will not be able to bring the fuel cell in time, so now.

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  • ALL PRODUCTS

    You get to the point. There was even government funding for refrigerators. And no, under such framework conditions “this idea” certainly does not prevail. But it doesn't hurt to hold on to valid thoughts ...

    It is perfidious that environmental protection (of all things) is used again and again as an argument to encourage consumption, sales and the throwaway society. It is also perfidious that this creates a fiscal and monetary pressure to participate on citizens and consumers, which is almost imperative ...

    Right next door lives the clever neighbor who pays less taxes, but takes every allowance and bonus with him, who reports with a grin and swell of pride what kind of fox he is. Facade, windows, heating, refrigerator and car. Everything is always new ...

    But it's a shame that the old refrigerator (also already A +) is now scrapped and stupid that the new one gave up the ghost shortly after the warranty expired. Or that the facade insulated with subsidies has to be renewed after 20 years, there are then no more subsidies and tens of thousands of euros are incurred just for the disposal of the construction chemicals. Of course also in the name of the environment, in whose name all the dirt (styrofoam and acrylic plaster) was glued to the house beforehand. The argument always pulls. Plus funding is becoming almost mandatory. But only almost ...

    Nice that there are people who can not be forced to consume. Also in the name of the environment.

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  • That's right and applies to all products. Longer service life would be a plus for the environment, not just for the car. Only this idea prevails?

    Just imagine all company car drivers would use their vehicle instead of 2 or 3 years for 5 years! The industry would be in trouble.

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  • At least, the youth - seen in terms of time - sits on the longer lever.

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  • I also consider electromobility to be an aberration. It will probably be that politics will force this on us. The VW group upgraded so much, you can not hang it!

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  • Both as well as vs. instead?

    Maybe the royal road is in the middle? In fact, almost 100 years ago (in the 1920s and 30s) we had a competition between electricity and combustion engines that seemed open for a long time.

    Ironically, and also in America, manufacturers tried to electrify luxury sedans and even (actually airworthy) aircraft and to propagate the superiority of the concept. At that time, of course, this competition was a purely technical one, even without taking into consideration aspects of the environment and health.

    At the same time, electric delivery vehicles were quite common in Germany, at least within the city. For example, for milk, at the post office or for beer kegs. In fact, some carriages and many a horse were actually replaced by EVs, without ever having crossed the road over a gas burner.

    I am completely with you. The use of resources, the missing and open questions about the infrastructure and charging structure. The insufficient range. Missing or dishonest overall balance sheets and the like more ...

    But what I would like to imagine and wish would be political framework conditions that would allow both concepts in the future to exist on an equal footing and be able to compete with each other.
    Maybe the result would be a familiar one? So again more EVs in cities and metropolitan areas, mixed with combustion engines that sometimes drive long distances ...

    Then we would finally be back where we were before 100 years ago.
    So to the future ...

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  • Super interesting! I also see a conflict of the generations pull up. The old car industry brings a monster like the Audi Q something E-tron and means something to do for the environment. The youth is against the Sion. Which electric car is smarter you do not have to write extra, I think that's clear.

    Only, who will prevail. The rich, old industry with its monsters? Or the unconventional youth?

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  • I think there is no such thing as THAT way. It has to be a mixture of different drives, car sharing, etc ... .. I don't think the basic idea of ​​Sion is that wrong. If I had one at home in Spain, I would most likely never have to plug it in every day. Wherever it is produced… .. In my opinion that remains the biggest problem. I am still convinced that the most environmentally friendly car is the one that no longer needs to be manufactured.

    The Lizi

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  • SCHUKODOSE & SPACE ECONOMY

    If I read correctly at Sono Motors, you can also connect and operate electrical devices on the Sion. This is also worth highlighting and a pretty smart detail, I think ...
    In any case, I can think of a number of private and professional applications.

    Tom's observation and description of the relationship between car bosses and the issue of space economy is certainly correct - with a view to so-called premium brands. But the bosses are probably wrong ...

    I know a lot of drivers whose only Audi or Mercedes was or still is an A2 or the second A-Class and will probably stay that way. The outcry and disappointment were great when the A2 was discontinued without replacement and the A-Class was replaced by a Mercedes Golf ...

    Space-saving vehicles with a touch of premium as a first or second car, suddenly a separate market segment is completely idle again. And that in times when these manufacturers are rolling out their model ranges wider than an 8-lane motorway plus hard shoulder and rest area ...

    The bosses need to know, but alone I know of disappointed 5 customers who have lost them.
    A Sion has all the more potential. Good as well …

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  • Less cobalt is good because VW alone already needs the entire annual production for its e-mobile ;-). It's nice that it's not produced in China, but that does not make an e-car tastier. I think that's all a big mistake!

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  • What else should be emphasized: The Sion is NOT built in China. That alone makes him interesting.

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  • Good question - no answer at the moment. I'm taking the question with me to Munich!

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  • Do you know the solar panels can also air-condition the vehicle when the car is parked?

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