The Sono Sion is an electric vehicle that uses most of its charge from super-efficient solar panels | Car Blog

Like Sono Motors' Sion, Ford's Model T is only available in black, the extras are nonexistent, and the same amount of money will best buy less enticing alternatives like a few tired horses. . But unlike Henry Ford, who created various motor cars before encountering the Model T, Laurin Hahn - founder of Sono - was only a college graduate. And unlike the Model T, the Sion is an electric vehicle that uses most of its charge from super-efficient solar panels.

At the age of 26, Hahn is an environmentalist, non-conformist and idealist. “Our goal is not to sell as many cars as possible, but to implement an innovative CO2-free mobility concept,” he said. The first car born from this ideal was the Sion, a matte black neoclassical MPV.

Located in one of Munich's few surviving working-class suburbs, the unpretentious Sono House is a hastily converted and renovated workshop with several buckets of white paint thrown into it. hours before opening. Two cars are parked inside the vast single-room facility - the first mule and latest iteration towards the finished product. Clean and finished, it's still a rough looking thing with third world window seals, doors that may never match the rest of the body, and surface finishes from the beak charcoal.

By the time it enters production and is available across the EU, which is a few years away, expect that fit and finish to improve. But it will still be a low-budget product, with no high-end aspirations.

Sono Sion - It had users in mind from the beginning

A community of supporters contributed to the creation of the car. More than 15,000 participants voted for black over white, choosing durable upholstery and even the timeless design of the wall box. They contracted over 400 volts, accepted a real-time range of 190 miles, and settled on performance numbers (0-62mph in about 9.0s, top speed 87mph). Maintenance will be performed by independent service partners or on a factory-backed DIY basis, 54kWh battery fully warranted with ready-to-use items and 75kW max power showing time charging from 5 to 80% is 35 minutes.

Where exactly do 248 solar panels come into the equation? Thomas Hausch summons a bird's-eye view of the car on the center display to demonstrate the energy-absorbing skin's contribution to the charge state: 'In the summer, panels can help boost even more three times the range to 625 miles. Parked in a sunny spot, in a week, Sion will collect enough solar energy to travel an additional 150 miles. ' Or, to put it another way, 20 miles a day: handy.

Sono Sion - It's a simple but effective car

Hahn, his sales manager, Thomas Hausch (former Mercedes, Chrysler, Nissan) and team seemed oddly comfortable with the temporary nature of the demo car. But their confidence made sense when we drove it.

Minutes later, the four of us in this stealthy stereoscopic engine, strip the tape from a series of public roads; think of it as a kart track with no defined cones, curbs, and start/finish lines. Why not go on the open road? Because the type approval is still a few months away and there are some insurance issues that need to be cleared up. Never mind. On a playground the size of six tennis courts, Sion wastes no time impressing drivers and silencing passengers.

First impressions from this short stretch: Sion accelerates, changes direction, brakes and stops perfectly. Even when pushed, it doesn't fall to pieces, stays quiet for the meow outside the front tyre, and feels snappy despite all the mass and weight. The cabin is quite roomy, the trunk is wide and the controls are responsive in terms of effort and response, while the 161bhp e-motor coupled to the single-speed gearbox is revving for its entire life.

The dashboard has two busy displays, but what catches the eye in this mostly black cabin is the backlit bright Irish moss green, which spans behind glass the full width of the panel. bottom control. Unlike luxury leather-wrapped EV pads, the Sion is truly a staunch protector of the planet. Why? Because it minimizes the use of raw materials in the beginning rather than maximizing the recycling effort at the end.

Sono Sion - That's the time

Sono devised a smart car sharing service. Disciples connect through an app dedicated to personalized billing, insurance and telecommunications technology integration. Options include simple rentals, carpooling, and carpooling.

If all goes according to plan, each vehicle will attract 12 users on average, thereby reducing operating costs per person by 85% and boosting usage per vehicle by 150%. By 2025, the strategy is expected to generate an annual revenue of 295 million euros (£250 million). Additional income will come from patented solar panels, which can also be used for boats, trucks, trains and passenger vans. The Sion will cost €25,500 (about £21,500) including tax.

"Our custom cells are two-thirds lighter than glass," boasts Hausch. 'The unique polymer coating is an excellent protection against wear and tear. In case of impact, it is not broken, only dented or dinged. Furthermore, our concept offers significant cost benefits thanks to a 30-second production cycle that is much shorter than the 20-minute times quoted by conventional hardware vendors. Plus, the efficiency is four times higher, and the result is a watertight business case. '

Sion offers a completely new proposition. Will it catch on, and will the sharing program attract enough people? Based on what we know so far about the ambitious Sono and Sion, the technology provides very solid foundations.


The Sono Sion is an electric vehicle that uses most of its charge from super-efficient solar panels | Car Blog The Sono Sion is an electric vehicle that uses most of its charge from super-efficient solar panels | Car Blog Reviewed by Dang Nhan on December 30, 2021 Rating: 5

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