Will the Sion Prove That Electric Vehicles Can Be Anything Under the Sun?
Despite being abundant and renewable,
solar power has yet to become a game-changer in the automotive industry. Sono
Motors, a German company, plans to turn the car industry upside down with Sion,
the first mass-produced solar electric vehicle.
However, Elon Musk, the visionary behind
theTesla Model Y and other futuristic electric
vehicles, does not consider solar-roofed cars viable. The Tesla CEO argued that
vehicles are usually in the shade and do not have much surface to catch a ton
of sunshine to produce a high amount of electricity when outside.
Nevertheless, nothing is stopping the
first privately owned Sion from hitting the road soon. Our friends at Carsurance initially thought it would be on the
market by 2019, but its production is scheduled to commence in the second half
of 2020 instead.
So is Sion just another solar automotive
experiment? Let us find out what it is all about.
Sustainability is the obvious motivation
behind the conceptualization and the development of Sion. It is intended to
decrease the impact of car manufacturing on nature in different ways to help
preserve the environment and improve people’s health.
Sion will still depend on grid charging,
which may eventually lead to greenhouse-gas emissions. However, its ability to
produce as much as 21 miles of range per day with the sun is a step in the right
direction. Considering that the average daily German commutes are just 10
miles, Sion might not have to be plugged in regularly.
Sono Motors tapped National Electric
Vehicle (NEV) to manufacture its vehicles in Trollhättan, Sweden. A leader in
electromobility, NEV will produce about 43,000 Sion units annually using100%
Sion has 248 solar cells embedded
throughout its body. Itsliquid-cooled
battery consists of 192 prismatic lithium-ion cells in 16 modules.
The electric vehicle’s sleek interior
design is as cutting-edge as it is charming. Sion has a seven-inch display
behind the wheel and a 10-inch infotainment touchscreen on the dashboard.
It also has a sophisticated air
filtration system that houses a special moss. The technology helps remove up to
20% particulate matter from the air and regulate in-car humidity and
The Income Stream
Thanks to its bidirectional onboard charger, Sion can become a power bank for other electric vehicles. Other than powerSharing, the solar-powered car’s goSono app allows its owner to earn money on the side through carSharing and rideSharing.
Sion is nothing but potential at this point.
Even its doubters, however, would be pleasantly surprised if it does live up to
its hype. Its commercial success might be the break solar power needs to usher
in a new era of environmental responsibility in the automotive industry.