While nimble startups can continue to outperform the larger players, international manufacturers are now catching on to the electric vehicle trend. That appears to be the case with Sono Motors of Germany. The gorgeous new Sion crossover SUV with integrated solar panels is one outcome of the company’s ear-to-the-ground business philosophy, among others. plus moss!
ALMOST HERE IS THE SOLAR POWERED ELECTRIC VEHICLE OF THE FUTURE Prior to a production run scheduled later in the year, Sono has brought just one Sion pre-production electric vehicle to the US on a press trip. CleanTechnica was invited along for the New York City part of the tour.
A scheduled drive around the city streets was thwarted by a software upgrade, but I did have a chance to sit behind the wheel and have a good look at both the inside and the outside. These are my impressions: Wow, again, and again.
The lower dashboard on the passenger side is covered in a thin strip of vivid green moss, which serves as the only interior decoration. Contrasting it with the black and gray color scheme is striking. Leave us a comment in the comment section if you have any opinions on the use of moss as a decorative element in a car (spoiler alert: it’s a component of the climate control system).
Some EV manufacturers place a lot of emphasis on fancy interior lighting that can be customized and sophisticated display panels, but Sono has taken a completely opposite approach with the Sion. The interior’s neat, professional lines reflect the manufacturer’s focus on the fleet management industry while also appealing to individual customers seeking a distinctive crossover SUV that is elegant yet functional and reasonably priced. In spite of the matte black exterior and distinctive, angular shape, there is ample of rear cargo capacity.
Sono is now aiming for a pre-tax, pre-subsidy price point of €29,000. Assuming that federal and state electric car benefits apply, this would make Sono a relatively reasonable deal in the US.
Interested? Join the pre-order list , which has more than 20,000 individual reservations and 22,000 fleet manager reservations.
THE BENEFIT OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES The Sion’s bi-directional charging mechanism, which no traditional, gas-powered car can accomplish, really highlights the practicality aspect.
In essence, an electric car is a huge battery on wheels. The battery can be used to travel or to power other gadgets, such as party lights, an additional electric car, or even an entire house. The only drawback is that you must find a way to recharge it, which presents a challenge if you are off the grid.
With solar panels integrated into the body, Sono has found a solution to this problem, allowing the battery to recharge wherever you are, so long as the sun is shining.
The solar panels incorporated inside the car illustrate the distinction between gas and electric vehicles. When you own a traditional car, you buy a tank of gas on wheels and then have to pay cash for each fill-up. An electric vehicle can be charged for less money than it would cost to buy gas, and the Sion makes recharging EVs more affordable by using solar energy that is provided for free.
The effect of this benefit may spread to the entire household budget. The second-largest expense after home for a US household may be travel. Solar panels attached to a vehicle can assist in reducing transportation costs, freeing up household resources for other uses.
Sion also serves as a workaround for owners of electric vehicles who would wish to install rooftop solar panels on their home but are unable to due to shade, rental status, or other circumstances. You can receive solar energy as long as you can find a sunny place to park a Sion.
The secret of fleet vehicles The US Postal Service’s electric vehicle controversy has brought new attention to the crucial role fleets play in the EV market. When it appeared that the US Department of Defense would deploy electric vehicles, even tanks, early on, the fleet angle drew CleanTechnica’s attention. With its enormous fleet, the government could support numerous automakers on its own.
It has been a long time coming. Since at least 2010, the Army has been experimenting with fuel cell electric cars, but it hasn’t started exploring other EV options until lately, when it expressed interest in battery-type EVs.
Big US manufacturers like GM and Ford, who have already made significant strides in the commercial vehicle sector, are stepping up their efforts to enter the fleet EV market.
In that industry, Sono still has a lot of catching up to do, but the business does bring its built-in solar panels to the table, which could give it an advantage.
Sono unveiled a selection of solar-powered truck and bus kits last month. The business has already partnered with the long-standing corporation MAN Truck