Take A Look At The Sion – The car that charges itself, Costing only ₦18 million
A German company known as Sono Motors is getting ready to release a solar-powered car by 2023. Sono Motors took the car to the US on tour ahead of its official release in 2023. The name of the car is Sion.
You’d think a solar-powered car would cost an arm and a leg. However, the car will cost only $25,000 (₦18,750,000), making it more affordable than most EV cars.
The car features 465 integrated solar half-cells throughout the exterior of the car roof, doors, fenders, rear, and other car areas. According to the company’s estimate, solar power alone can fuel about 70 miles of driving per week.
That’s to say, without additional energy, the car will efficiently operate up to 70 miles per week. For longer trips, the Sion has a lithium iron phosphate battery with a 190-mile range, made by a Chinese electric vehicle and battery giant BYD.
Sono Motors is partnering with a Finnish company, Valmet Automotive, to produce the Sion, and the company says there are already 42,000 reservations for the car in Europe. The company also noted that its goal is to produce 257,000 Sions by 2030. A huge impact on green living.
When asked about how such a car could be so affordable, the Sono Motors CEO, Laurin Hahn, states that contract manufacturing is the first thing that allows the company to keep costs down.
He also stated, “second is we have just one variant. This car comes in any colour you like as long as it’s black. So basically, there are no options. That’s massive in saving costs. Third, we do online direct sales. Fourth we have no steel stamping. It’s an aluminium space frame, a very safe car. And fifth is it has solar panels on the outside. And for those five things, we can be affordable.”
Sono uses a polymer-based solar technology that it developed.
The CEO added, “we have several patents, over 30 patents on that. And it’s a big difference because all other companies who try to integrate solar are using mostly glass. Glass is heavy, slow in production and very cost expensive.”
There’s an app on the car’s dashboard that gives drivers real-time information about how much solar power the car is generating at any moment. Drivers can also control power-sharing via the app, using the Sion’s battery to charge other electric devices, including EVs, at a price point of the owner’s choosing.
While solar-powered cars are not yet popular today, the CEO, Laurin Hahn, believes the car will take off. He said,
“We think it has the potential to become a mainstream technology. Our mission is solar on every vehicle because there is no point in not putting it on it. It is very cost-effective, and it doesn’t add a lot of costs to the bill of materials for the car. So there’s actually no reason why not to integrate it.”
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