Solar cell electric car: Final design introduced

March 04, 2019 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Solar cell electric car: Final design introduced
Can an electric car be charged with solar cells? The Munich start-up company Sono Motors at least wants to try. The final design of the company’s Sion, which is to go into series production at the end of the year, has now been presented. The five-seater will therefore be somewhat larger than originally planned.

The vehicle is covered over and over with solar cells. These provide an additional source of energy and charge the battery even without the usual mains connection. On sunny days they should provide enough energy for up to 34 kilometres, on cloudy days and in winter accordingly less. The vehicle is equipped with a 120 kW engine that delivers a torque of 290 Nm and accelerates the electric car to a maximum of 140 kmph. The solar cells are integrated into the surface of the vehicle by means of an insensitive polymer layer. The range with a fully charged battery is 255 km according to WLTP. The battery has a capacity of 35 kWh and can normally be recharged in 3.5 hours; at a household socket the car needs 13 hours until the battery is fully charged.

In response to customer requests, the design team extended the final version by a few centimetres, and the five-door car was also fitted with rear side windows. Otherwise, the Sion designers follow Henry Ford's famous rule: you can buy the car in any colour as long as it's black.

The focus of the design is on connectivity with intelligent applications with flexible car sharing options. In addition to the entire car, the user can also share the energy, and the Sion has a bidirectional charging function. Series production is scheduled to start in autumn 2019. The company did not want to say which contract manufacturer Sono Motors would sign.

With battery, the Sion is expected to carry a price tag of around 25.500 euros. However, the manufacturer is considering offering the battery for rent which would reduce the price to 16.000 euros. As of the date of publication, Sono Motors has 9417 reservations for the vehicle. 

Related articles:

Electric vehicle taps the sun to charge its batteries

Continental supplies drive unit for Sion electric compact car

German solar powered car startup signs Bosch


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