Last year, Sono Motors, a German startup raised over $200,000 to bring the SION to life. Using 300 photovoltaic panels, the SION can store enough energy from the sun to travel up to 18 miles, but if you need to travel further, the SION can also be recharged using a standard outlet, like a conventional electric car. Depending on how much you want to spend, you can rent the car battery monthly, or purchase outright.
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The Extender model starts at $16,000 Euros and has a driving range of 110 – 120 miles and can be quick-charged up to 80% in 40 minutes. Charging it up with the power of the sun will take half a day, but since Sono Motors says you can drive it to work for an 8-hour shift, the battery will be fully recharged thanks to the solar cells when you get off.
With room for five passengers, you can bring the whole family along. A unique moss liner is integrated into the ventilation system that acts as a natural air filter to filter fine particles of dust from the air. There are also six airbags to keep everyone safe. Everything is controlled through the cockpit – a smart screen that shows your speed, battery level and everything else you need to run things smoothly. Repairs should be affordable, since Sono is releasing a repair manual and affordable parts along with the car.
Sono Motors has also announced the addition of a new mobility system, called “goSono”. With the Sono App and the function of the bi-directional charging, you can use the vehicle as a mobile storage to power external devices, like generators while heading off the grid. Additionally the app makes it easy to offer make money with the SION by either renting it out through car sharing or by giving rides to other passengers, like Uber or Lyft.
Sono Motors has already received interest from over 1,200 pre-orders for the SION, but the company is hoping to get that number to at least 5,000 before they can start production. The next step to get to the SION on the road is to get people behind the wheel, which will include unique test drive tours that will take place all over Europe. The first deliveries are expected to arrive in 2018.