Solar-powered electric vehicles move one step closer to market


Sono Motors, a German company working on the development of the electric solar car, just revealed its production design for a passenger vehicle outfitted with a solar kit. It's slated to get the vehicles to customers starting next year.


Currently, Sono Motors focuses on its two models, “solar bus kit” and “Sion”. One of them is for public transport in Europe and the other one for the personal passenger car.


The four-door Sion is a simple electric hatchback that’s compact but still spacious by European standards. What sets it apart from other EVs are the solar panels set into the body of the car on all sides. These will allow the Sion to generate its own electricity, which can add up to roughly 150 miles of range per week to the regular battery and create “full self-sufficiency on short distances.”


For more efficiency and security, Sono left behind the fragile and heavy glass encasements that solar panels typically rely on in favor of monocrystalline silicon cells protected by a layer of polymer, integrated into the body of the car itself. The polymer is shatterproof and provides extra protection for the cells in the case of collision.

Sono signed a binding contract with Finnish manufacturer Valmet Automotive in April and already has at least 19,000 pre-order customers, all of whom have already paid a down payment of roughly 2,000 euros (though these payments are refundable once the car is available).


Even its first target is in Europe but it is a big approach if the technology can prove itself as a useful and this is a big leap to the Solar-powered EV.