Sun Power on Wheels

An all-electric car with solar panels

January 2020

There are plenty of car makers seeking to uti­lize green energy, but a new player is taking things a step further.

Munich-based start-up Sono Motors has designed a car with 248 solar panels embedded into its roof, hood, rear and sides, which can provide enough electricity per day for 34km of no-cost, zero emissions driving.

Together with its lithium-ion battery, which is sold or rented separately, the low-frills five-seater offers a maximum range of 250km. The ‘Sion’ will be the first mass-produced electric car with solar panels when it enters production in late 2020. This was made possible by a crowdfunding campaign where the company collected EUR 50 million in just a few weeks.

There are already over 10,000 pre-orders for the affordable e-car, which will cost EUR 25,500. As the automotive suppliers ElringKlinger and Continental will supply the batteries and motor/drive unit, this will be a joint ‘Made in Germany’ effort.

Sono Motors unveils a prototype of the “Sion,” a mass market, solar-powered electric car, in Munich. © Sono Motors