The Sion is the independence hardware

In the foyer of Sono Motors is a Sion. A true prototype that has earned its name. Built by hand, what you clearly see the body and the interior. Something like the original Saab parked in the museum in Sweden. The integration of the solar panels is not the same as the series. There are still wide gaps between the panels and the bodywork. Later, the transitions should be fluent, and the panels will be seen only at second glance in the ever-black Sion.

Moss as air filter at the Sion
Moss as air filter at the Sion. Photo Credit: Sono Motors

I find that a pity, because I like it when technology is made visible. But the Sono community has so base-democratically decided, and for the majority of potential buyers, it will be the right decision.

Be independent and stay

In Sion, Sono Motors uses as many hardware components as possible, freely available on the suppliers' shelves. This lowers the development costs and secures the independence of the company. Only in terms of core competencies invest the Munich itself. This includes, among other things, the unique integration and control of the solar panels in the Sion body, which is protected by patent. Even the development of the software is kept in your own hands. It is a key to the value added of the future and guarantees independence.

With solar panels that can generate up to 34 kilometers of range per day, the Sion still has a unique selling proposition in its price class. The Lightyear 1 is playing in a different league, but Toyota has also discovered the topic for itself and is testing integrated solar panels in the game Prius hybrid.

The solar cells generate power in the production version both while stationary and while driving. In principle, the Sion is a flexible, moving electricity storage that can produce, absorb and also return energy to external consumers. Many kinds of use are conceivable and open up completely new worlds. If the legal framework were right, then you could even use the Sion to feed electricity into the public grid and get credit for it.

Much utility in the Sion

The Sion is an electric car that has been designed with high utility. An unprecedented compact solar van with a large tailgate. This sets it apart from other concepts available on the market. With a lot of utility, he can score against competitors such as the Leaf or the Renault Zoe, he does in the price anyway. And anyone who wants it will be able to lease their Sion in the future or rent the battery. Its built-in panels make it an exciting new release on the market when it goes into production in the fall of 2020.

The Sion can tow with a trailer hitch, still a rarity for electric cars, up to 750 kilograms. And the promised range of 255 kilometers should be sufficient for almost all commuter rides. Part of Sono Motors' DNA is that in the future fewer, not more, cars should be on the road. The goSono app aims to give the Sion rider power sharing, ride sharing and car sharing. You do not just buy an electric car with the Sion, you also become part of a growing community. If you like it and want to use it.

More environmentally friendly than a combustor after 38.000 kilometers

While our press talk barely brings hard facts to the Sion, Sono Motors published interesting details on the following Friday during the open-house event. A Sion with its batteries is expected to emit an estimated 13,5 tons of CO2 during production. A VW Golf 1.6, there are different values, estimated at 4,5 tons. If you operate the Sion with electricity from the current, national power mix, then after about 66.000 kilometers it is more environmentally friendly than a comparable combustor. Including the ViSono concept, the extraction of energy by solar cells, then 57.000 kilometers are enough. Only operated with green electricity, the Sion would be superior after 38.000 kilometers comparable burners.

The Sion with its integrated solar panels is more than just another car. Behind him is also a young, radical thinking. Sustainability and the conservation of resources are one thing. To open it for many users, a consistent basic idea. His utter abandonment of vanity shows that the time of the car as a status symbol is coming to an end. Where the nice features such as the moss in the interior can be a little candy for the soul again.

The Sion compared to its competitors
The Sion compared to its competitors. Source: Sono Motors

He is conceived by a young team that focuses on flat structures and the essentials. That renounces its own work, because the planet probably does not need a car factory. Which is consistent and correct, at the latest when the idea of ​​car sharing has been fixed in many minds. Because at the latest then you will really sell fewer cars than more.

Will the Sion succeed?

There are open questions and some black holes. Another German electric car startup is currently fighting because the product quality is not right and promised features are not yet available. Product quality is one question, sales and communication the other. The time issue is also pressing, Sono Motors is in default and runs the risk of disappointing the pre-order. The next few months will be particularly expensive for Munich. Homologation, pre-production and production start devouring huge sums of money. Is the financing secured?

And there are some black holes. An example: At the open-house event announced a NMC 622 battery. Which certainly makes for cooling lower demands, but contains twice as much controversial cobalt as the promised NMC 811 technology. Why? There is no explanation for the change.

On the credit side, there is a very innovative concept, which with its high utility value would fit perfectly into the time. A likeable, young, unadapted team, and the opportunity to convey not just a mobility concept, but also a way of life. Perhaps. If you use your chances.

15 thoughts too "The Sion is the independence hardware"

  • If the SION really does 34 kilometers a day (in summer), that would be awesome. Because it would be free kilometers and thus half of my daily distance. That could be an argument. But, honestly, does industry and the state want such a car? “Fill up” with less electricity = less taxes and levies.

    Oh man, if that prevails ...

  • can the solar panels also cool the car in the state?

    • A question for which I unfortunately have no answer. Since other manufacturers offer this feature for their EV's I guess the Sion will have it too.

    • The Sion can be pre-air conditioned. Controlled via an app, the air conditioning can be turned on.

  • Moss filter, but twice the amount of cobalt? Sounds inconclusive to me.

    • 13,5 vs. 4,5 tons *

      That's true, but at least the CO2 balance sheet seems to me convincing and that's sensational ...

      Although an 1,6er Golf 9 has fewer tons of mortgage, which equates to almost 4.000 liters of gasoline and should be good for at least 60.000 km, however, only the 2,32 kg CO2 per liter are included in this calculation, the finished and already transported gasoline when burning CO2 emitted. Added to this would be the extraction and transport of crude oil and the energy requirements of the refineries and a further transport of their products.

      So the 38.000 km actually seem believable and both are a real novelty - both the good CO2 score itself and their unadorned plausibility. For that alone, the small brand already deserves recognition and respect.

      I keep my fingers crossed for Sono and THN as a production location.

      * A factor of three in the making.

  • A basically great project, with an ingenious basic idea. But with the batteries that does not fit. Even VW uses the ID back to NMC 811 technology. And they have not noticed so far with an environmental commitment.

    • If I guess, I would guess it's a cost issue. And if you choose the lower cost, you probably get two more benefits for free:

      Since NMC 811 is the most up-to-date technology, it is likely to be in high demand from major manufacturers (for good judgment on resource consumption), but supply quotas are not likely to be large enough to be easily supplied to any manufacturer in the desired quantity, which usually drives up the price.

      If you can live with NMC 622, you will probably get cheaper purchasing terms, you do not have to worry about being able to get enough quantities, and you probably have the better product, which also promises better shelf life or a better shelf life that can be achieved with simpler means.

      Since you had to correct the battery costs upwards in the past, you probably want to avoid a second price increase. Presumably also, as it would fully impact on the price of the vehicle, which would lose another argument for the Sion in importance.


    I like the functionality of the Sion and the functional thinking behind it. If you look at the dimensions of the compact, especially the height, it could also be a real space saver compared to the eGolf, which offer a more upright seating position and a better overview in traffic.

    Funny but I find the slogans Sonos for car sharing and fewer cars.
    Sono is there in the good company even established manufacturers and traditional brands, which come into the same horn. It's just Vogue - actually already long since worn - and the assertion that you would like to see fewer cars on the streets, especially to boost your own sales ...

    One can certainly doubt whether and when the total leads to fewer cars. So far, car sharing is more of an additional business to me. So you get more cars in the city center and despite general overcrowding even reserved parking spaces are available. And because that's so convenient for users, suddenly people drive cars that have several bikes in the basement, a subway station and 7 bus lines on the doorstep and only 5 min walk to the nearest supermarket, only 10 to 20 min walk to work like to fly on vacation. These are people you could not possibly sell your own car. But you can even put these people one and seduce them to drive. Brilliant …

    For everyone else, car sharing is not suitable anyway. If everyone starts their school holiday at the same time, commuting to work or shopping for a long WE, then they can only share badly. From the startup to the traditional brand that should be aware of all manufacturers.

    But especially when and because we can not simply impose a new concept on individual traffic and the reality of life, new and intelligent cars have their justification. If Sono would communicate this so openly and honestly, I would prefer it again, as it is the sympathetic Sion already ...

    Speaking of authorization, where should actually stand in the car sharing trailer for the AHK of a Sions?

    • The futurists are exceptionally unanimous once. Car sharing will lead to more, then fewer vehicles. There is already a plus in the AHK. Sion, drive to the Swedish furniture store, and drive home with trailer and new furniture. Just as an example.

      At the end of the day, the question arises as to how sustainable a furniture purchase is.

      • The Sion has some positive USPs.
        The AHK I definitely see as another big plus.

        And if the way leads to a Loppissar, then even the furniture purchase sustainable 😉
        My last two furniture purchases (Red Cross in DK and Lions Club in S) were also charitable ...

        The car sharing will be seen. Or not, not too soon. The futurologists have priced in future policy guidelines that sanction individual car ownership even more sharply than before and continue to subsidize sharing.

        But the crux of it is that it has been lucrative so far - an additional business in the sense of free economic, communal and fiscal interests of state and federal government. But what happens after the turning point with a shrinking fleet of registered vehicles and sinking new registrations? Which politician is interested in his talk of yesterday?

        If historians argue about all sorts of things, how important is futurology?
        And some prognosis (keyword atomic energy) have long shunned them, like the devil the holy water ...

        • A great idea to bring a mini van on an electric basis.
          Sono builds it outside of any competition and thus has a good chance of success.
          The useful factor of the Sion is really impressive for an electric car.

          The only question is, where and how store ???

          Last week, the German government decided to make a billion-dollar financial package of taxpayers' money for the auto industry to further develop e-mobility.
          Only to the buyer of these cars is not thought of government pages.
          Where are the promised e-fast charging stations?
          In Rural Germany it is already a coincidence to find an E tank at all
          Off the highway!
          So why should the farmer sell his diesel and switch to e-mobility ???
          Strangely, the additional connection for charging the e-car in front of the house is no longer subsidized.
          And 7000 EUR are a lot of money for a power connection.
          You can also buy a used diesel for that.

          Really questionable, how in this country the environmental protection is operated!

          • “The only question I have is where and how to shop ???”

            Good question, because at least a Schukodose will also need the Sion. If in the 4. Floor behind closed windows and also no parking in front of the house is available, then it is vinegar with the e-mobility ...

            And that counts in the city center, where it would have the greatest benefit. We are not ready yet. The Sion is already attractive to homeowners. Or it would be if it were already built. Interesting and contradictory times ...

  • Unfortunately, Sono Motors has gambled. Now that your battery prices are highest, you have secured your required amount at a maximum price. The result is a very small battery at a high price with environmentally harmful technology. In addition, they have omitted important promised components such as heat pump. In addition, with only four airbags, they will hardly get any stars in the NCAP crash test. Even the efficiency of the solar cell has dropped from 24% to 22%. Many pre-orders are uncertain because Sono Motors gives little information to the community. Vegan diet, a friendly approach to the company, etc. Seems to them more important than the development of the car to be. Sono Motors is burning money for salary payments with a growing team. In addition, the competition is getting bigger. Unfortunately there is no progress in the development of the Sion. At the same time, the competitiveness decreases every month. Unfortunately, the Sion project is going in the wrong direction. I think that's a pity.


      The Sion is different than the competition. Keyword space economy and utility value (AHK, mobile power source etc).
      He revives a once-popular concept (Audi A2 and original Mercedes A-Class) and thinks ahead.

      A conventional small car would not come into my house. And apart from the drive, all of the Sions' competitors (see “Electric Vehicle Market Overview) are exactly that. They are conventional small cars with no real utility or added value.

      Even their battery capacity is on several models only the same or is even lower - without the plus of the solar cells!
      And why should the prices for batteries massively collapse in the near future despite increasing demand?

      They say that the Sion project is unfortunately going in the wrong direction and that you think that would be a pity.
      Maybe you would not have to see the project that bad?

      Just a thought ...

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