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.
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.
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.