One of the arguments against the EV era is that the power source that charges the battery is not completely clean. There are those who think that solar power can be a solution and for that, Sono Motors from Munich, Germany has the answer.
Introduced in 2017, the Sono Zion is the world’s first solar electric vehicle. Now, the company reports that more than 20,000 reservations were made for Zion as of September 1, 2022. The average down payment made by each private reservation is €2,000, or about $1,990 at current exchange rates.
Sono said the asking price for Sion was €25,126 (~$25,000). With that, the company expects the Zion to be the world’s first Solar Electric Vehicle (SEV) for the masses.
Production of the Sono Sion is projected to start in the second half of 2023. Sono Motors partner Valmet Automotive in Finland will handle manufacturing/production. After the ramp-up period. Sono targets to produce around 257,000 Zion vehicles within seven years.
Unlike the Genesis Electrified G80 and its solar roof, nearly every flat surface of the Zion is equipped with solar panels: the hood, roof, fenders, quarter panels and hatch. Only the front is not equipped with solar cells, and that’s because replacing them has to be relatively inexpensive in the event of an accident.
In total, the Zion is equipped with 456 solar cells, which should be good for 70 miles (112 kilometers) of clearance each week. It can double (or more) in areas where the sun frequently visits the sky.
Beyond solar power, the Sion is equipped with a 54 kWh battery that can propel the vehicle up to 190 mi (305 km) on the WLTP test cycle. Charging the small battery is limited to only 75 kW, although it is also equipped with two-way charging that can turn the car into a mobile power station with an output of up to 2.7 kW.