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 is soothing to the mainstream. No big show, no showmanship. The utility value as a car-sharing car is in the foreground. The form follows function, coincidentally a maxim of Saab and the credo of building cars in the 80 years. However, words such as "economics of space" no longer take the word for an autobody, because a lot of space for people in as compact a space as possible seems to be out of fashion.

In Munich one works against the trend. The Sion could be a project that stands for 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, still a rarity in electric cars, and the ability to use one Sion to donate energy to another electric vehicle. It remains to be seen whether Sono Motors will remain so consistently puristic in the interior as well. Pictures of the final design have not yet been released.

Battery module from German production

What Sion does fits in well with the tremendous change the auto industry is currently undergoing. As the company around founder Laurin Hahn, who only 24 years counts, thinks and acts, Mark and I will explore soon in Munich. We are curious.

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. With 2011, the relatively new field of alternative drive technology has been taking account of the changes. For the Sion, Elringklinger supplies the liquid-cooled 48 V battery module, which is designed for up to 800 V total system voltage. Sono Motors claims to rely on a technology that requires less of the controversial raw material cobalt than conventional solutions. With the 35 kWh battery, the Sion will come miles after WLTP 250. 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 9.500 €, the price of the Sion therefore rose to 25.000 €. This has not stopped 10.000 pre-orderers from reserving and paying for a Sion.

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

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

    • Good question - no answer at the moment. I take the question to Munich!

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

  • 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!

    • Both as well as vs. instead?

      Maybe the royal road is in the middle? In fact, just over 100 years ago (in the 1920 & 30 years), we had a competition between Electricity and Burners that seemed to be 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 infra and loading structure. The lack of reach. Missing or dishonest total balances and the likes 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 well-known one? So again more EVs in cities and metropolitan areas, mixed with burners who also drive long distances ...

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

      • 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.

        • That's the topic. Our second car also drives miserably short distances. The SION would be the ideal size and with the solar cells you probably do not even have to "refuel" in the summer. Also, the price would be in the budget.

          Let's see what Tom from Munich will report.

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

    • 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!

      • One should not believe the lies of the German automotive industry, the oil companies and their lobbyists everything. But even with the supporters of electromobility, a lot of nice things are said.

        It is omitted in the internal combustion engines much in the environment and energy balance.
        Thus it is concealed that for the production of gasoline or diesel fuel for refining very much mostly thermal energy is needed. This means that for the production per liter of gasoline about 1 / 3 as much CO2 is generated as in the combustion in the engine. In addition, the gasoline must also be transported to the gas stations. Furthermore, it is concealed that with each cold start the fuel content for the combustion is increased which not only results in more CO2 emissions but also drastically damages the environment by drastically increasing other pollutants like 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.


    If I had read correctly at Sono Motors, you can also connect and operate electrical appliances on the Sion. It's 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 of the automobiles on the subject of economics of space is - with a view to so-called premium brands - certainly right. But the bosses are probably wrong ...

    I know many motorists whose only Audi or Mercedes was or is still an A2 or the second A-Class and probably will stay. The outcry and the disappointment was great when the A2 was discontinued and the A-Class replaced by a Mercedes Golf ...

    Space-economic vehicles with a touch of premium as a first or second car, there is a separate market segment suddenly completely broke. And in times when these manufacturers roll out their model ranges wider than an 8-lane highway plus hard shoulder and rest area ...

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

  • I think there is no way ... It must be a mixture of different drives, car sharing, etc ... .. The basic idea of ​​Sion I think not so wrong. If I had a home in Spain, I would most likely never have to plug in everyday life. Wherever produced ... .. That remains in my eyes, the biggest problem. I'm still convinced that the most environmentally friendly car is the one that does not need to be made anymore.

    The Lizi

    • 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.


        They bring the matter to the point. State funding has even existed for refrigerators. And no, under such conditions "this idea" certainly does not prevail. But it does not hurt to cling to valid thoughts ...

        It is perfidious that again and again the environmental protection (just) is taken as an argument to fuel consumption, sales and the throwaway society. What is also perfect is that a fiscal-monetary participation pressure on citizens and consumers is built up, which is almost mandatory ...

        Right next door lives the clever neighbor, who pays less taxes, but takes with him every subsidy and bonus that grins and proudly reports of what a fox he is. Facade, windows, heating, fridge and car. Everything always new ...

        Too bad that the old refrigerator (even A +) is now scrapped and stupid that the new shortly after the expiration of the guarantee gave up the ghost. Or that the facade, which has been insulated with subsidies, has to be renewed after 20 years, then there are no more subsidies and tens of thousands of euros are incurred solely for the disposal of construction chemicals. Of course, also in the name of the environment, in whose name you have all the dirt (Styrofoam and acrylic plaster) previously glued to the house. The argument always pulls. Plus promotion is almost mandatory. But just almost ...

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

        • 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.

    • 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.

      • ... or LPG or other (by-products) that occur in production processes and are otherwise used little or not?
        I have the impression that there is sufficient, what is already there and - with further deepening and possibly funding - can be used.

        • BYPRODUCTS ...

          ... are a good keyword. We can not and should not throw away anything. The traffic and the (only) propulsion or energy concept must not exist. Sad that nevertheless under this premise the future will be discussed (and decided) ...

          It has long been clear that we can not afford to throw away by-products, instead of exploiting everything "that's already there" as completely as possible. It must be re-thought clearly in the sense of your comment.

  • 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?

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

      • 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.

        • 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.


            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 was under the name monopoly with a certain exclusivity (the name was program) "gasoline" marketed, which was after all E25. Plants need light. Ethanol and firewood are all at the same time - both renewable and CO2-neutral energy source and storage, and also the naturally and independently growing and fully compostable "solar cell" in Union.

            Already pretty good and refined, this nature ...

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

            The storage for (technically harvested) solar and wind energy are problematic anyway.
            After all, hydrogen would be an option, albeit a controversial ...

        • 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.

          • That's way too monocausal for me.

            China built new (!) Steam locomotives in the 1980 years, put them on the market and drove them all the way across the city to the central station ...

            Electricity, heating, traffic, you had in all areas quasi yesterday still put on the coal and power plants like to be built so that they were downwind to the city, which was then also together with the one or more power plants and industry in a valley ...

            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 ...

  • What I miss at the Sion, and let him - in addition to all the good ideas - but a car that I currently do not like:
    - He becomes more back to the cage, the window surfaces are smaller, the (perceived, and optical) connection to the outside world decreases. Are there specific technical or business reasons for this?
    - He is black, as I read exclusively. This makes the traffic darker, less peaceful, and also makes the car more heat in the sun than necessary. For light colors or white speak several reasons, which I find more suitable for such a car - and the concept then more consistently drawn.
    Together it does not seem so consistent enough on me. At SAAB, to a point I found the consistent, honest and honest attitude to the good car and (not only) "form follows function" interesting and a big part of my reasons to drive the cars.

    • 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 that correctly with the color, white or black stood for the selection and in a vote the 'Community' decided for 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 customers like it. Or you did not like the contrast between the dark solar cells and the white body. At least, I think it's smart to ask potential customers which color you prefer to have as many potential buyers as possible.

      Of course, a color is not a big choice, but apparently it should not exist anywhere in the equipment. A model and that was it first. There may be a business option for film-makers, if there are transparencies with enough transparency, so as not to completely kill the solar store ...

  • 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 !!

  • Germany has a share of approx. 2% in worldwide Co2,3 emissions. The proportion of private transport is almost 25% thereof. We can all walk from tomorrow. The climate will not change. The energy industry, heavy industry, etc. should be put to the test, but not the car.

    • That reads so harmless, but it is by no means. Facts: 0.12% of the world population (Germany) cause according to their numbers 2,3% of the Co2 emission. So we not only take a much too big piece of the cake, but also assume that we can continue to do so with the acquiescence of others to their detriment.

      That is not acceptable.

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

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

          Now everything is there, just just about the factor 10 next to it and old Swede is no longer so wrong. Shit happens and mistakes happen. No offense. But a factor of just 10 in the name of humanity, the world and their 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 times the factor 5 of what total us, if we did not want to save and not have to. Alone by the individual traffic, 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.

        Since one can and may already come to ponder how an energy turnaround should look like and what priorities we should set when. And it does not hurt to brood about it a bit. Rather, it's blind actionism and hastily found panacea that scare me a lot ...

        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.

        • I REVISED ...

          ... and put it right: 1,15% of the world's population emit 0,575% of the worldwide CO2 emissions from private transport. Make whatever he wants from whatever.

          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.

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