Updated: Jul 7
Written by Kfir Kedem – May 20, 2020
Sono Motors, a new German automotive startup, is embracing many automotive trends at once. They have developed the Sion, a car that answers all automotive market analysis claims, be it in sustainability or congestion.
The main topic for discussion is their fascinating solar panel system. There are 248 solar panels present on the car, which allow drivers to enjoy an extra range of 34 kilometers. This means that they could go on short trips without having to wait for a charge. The solar panels are present not only on the roof, but also on the rear, the doors, the fenders, and the hood.
Developing this technology proved to be a challenge as Sono Motors was forced to develop their own type of voltage converter. The new technology combines different voltage modules to a common voltage below 60 volts then converts it to between 300 and 400 volts. The outer skin protecting the solar panels was developed by RLE International and uses embedded polymer rather than the industry standard of glass. This results in the component weight to be 20% lighter than any comparable metal body parts.
When it comes to charging the vehicle, the Sion can be charged from other cars, gas stations, and even your home’s normal plug.
Electrification, sustainability, and lightweight are only three of the increasingly important market trends, and Sono Motors shows their consideration for the future with their own ridesharing system. With each Sion comes a goSono app for mobile phones which enables drivers to share the car between them, thus lowering urban congestion and potentially ownership costs.
Auto Trendy’s take:
Several market trends and the innovations created to conform to them have been discussed on Auto Trendy so far. Sono Motors is the only one so far to completely stun us with their effectiveness in ticking all trend boxes while keeping up with a competitive cost of €25,500. They have teamed up with two automotive giants (RLE International and ARRK Europe), which leads us to believe they have sufficient support and backing. The main concern we can see is that they’re a startup company in one of the most difficult industries not only for startups, but also for existing companies with a long heritage. Of course, it will be fascinating to see how their future unfolds, but it will also be interesting to see how veteran automotive manufacturers follow suit.