Published on April 15th, 2018 | by Steve Hanley0
The Sono Motors Summer Test Drive Tour: 10 Countries, 42 Cities
April 15th, 2018 by Steve Hanley
Editor’s note: Following up on previous Sono Motors coverage, below is an update about a big road trip the solar-powered electric car startup is planning. Additionally, Sono Motors co-founder & CEO Laurin Hahn has agreed to join CleanTechnica’s next #Electrifying webinar chat. If you’d like to join us, here are the details:
6:00 pm CET / noon NYC time / 9:00 am California time
Sono Motors, an electric car startup created by a group of innovators in Munich, is taking its show on the road this summer. The 2018 tour hopes to give 12,000 test drives to people in 10 countries and 42 cities before it is done. Sono’s first car, called Sion, is a 5 door, 6 passenger sedan that features enough monocrystalline solar panels embedded into its exterior to provide up to 18 miles of additional range on a sunny day. The Sion was received enthusiastically by people in 6 countries and 12 cities last fall.
Sono conducted a highly successful Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign last year that raised more than half a million dollars, and it is currently taking reservations and pre-orders. The Sion’s target price is €16,000 ($19,760). The battery itself is not included in those prices. It can either be purchased separately (approx. €4,000 / $5,000) or leased. The battery can be used to power the car — offering a “real-world range” of 250 km (155 miles) — or supply electrical power to a residence.
The Sono mission is to “significantly reduce the misuse of valuable and finite resources — such as oil. Because oil is an important fossil, non-renewable raw material. Nevertheless, over 61% of the world’s oil reserves are consumed for transport. This produces 128 million tons of CO2 every year. Even if the extinction of the sources is delayed by new delivery methods, in the long term, there is no future for vehicles with internal combustion engines. Our future is sustainable mobility.”
The company has more than 3,500 reservations for the Sion. It hopes this year’s tour will get that number to more than 5,000, the point it wants to be at before regular production begins. The Sion uses mostly off-the-shelf components to keep development costs low. It will be produced by a well known European contract manufacturer and the company assures that all pre-orders will be filled. Check out the Sono Motors website for dates and locations in Europe this summer. You can reserve your own test drive online via that link.
An electric car with solar panels is very cool, but the Sion has other features that will gladden the hearts of its owners. It is designed to be easy to service and repair. Owners will be able to order replacement parts online. Helpful videos will be available to show how to replace components or any local repair facility can do the work. Zero emissions, simple operation, easy maintenance and repairs — the Sono Sion is innovative in so many ways. If the summer tour is coming to a city near you, why not sign up for a test drive of your own?
All images via Sono Motors, natch