Sono Motors’ Sion Solar Electric Vehicle (SEV) spent three weeks on the road in the USA last year. The aim of the tour was to introduce the company’s solar mobility concept to Americans and to generate interest and enthusiasm for a potential future expansion of the company in the USA. Sono Motors met with individuals, corporate and media representatives in New York, Boston, Detroit, San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles, and offered several hundred visitors – including Emmy and Oscar-winning actress Whoopi Goldberg – the opportunity to ride in the vehicle.
The Sion is a five-seat solar electric car that is expected to be available in Europe for around 25,000 euros. It has the potential to become the world’s first low-cost SEV when it goes into production; currently scheduled for the second half of 2023. As of today, Sono Motors has over 20,000 paid reservations from individuals and over 22,000 B2B pre-orders for the Sion. Sono Motors plans to produce the Sion together with contract manufacturer Valmet Automotive in Finland. Within seven years, around 257,000 vehicles are expected to roll off the production line there.
Medium-term market entry in the USA
“In Europe, we are already experiencing great interest in solar mobility. Our goal with this US tour was not only to introduce Americans:inside to the concept of solar mobility, but also to learn what concerns there are, gauge interest, build relationships and refine our strategy for a potential market entry in the US in the medium term,” says Laurin Hahn, CEO and co-founder of Sono Motors. “The result was overwhelming and consistently positive. Most visitors were impressed by the targeted price, the expected savings and the additional range through solar energy, as well as the car-sharing option. A product promise that was very well received and generated strong interest among many visitors.”
“The climate crisis is real and we are all already feeling its effects. The move away from fossil fuels in the automotive industry is more urgent than ever, but people’s mobility must of course still be guaranteed. We need clean means of transport, which is why our mission is to equip every vehicle with solar cells. The solar energy generated by this is the answer, because it enables vehicles to be more independent of the charging infrastructure. This is not only practical for the consumer, but also represents a relief for the power grid,” adds Hahn.
Solar retrofit solution: Solar Bus Kit
In addition to the Sion, Sono Motors also unveiled the Solar Bus Kit in the US, a solar retrofit solution for buses, as well as other solar solutions for refrigerated trucks, trailers, last-mile delivery vehicles and many other diesel or electric commercial vehicles that have sufficient open surfaces. The Solar Bus Kit partially powers subsystems such as HVAC, heating, ventilation, automatic doors and video screens with solar energy. This can save up to 1500 litres of diesel per bus and up to 4 tonnes of CO2 per year. www.sonomotors.com