Sono Motors is bringing its Sion solar-powered EV to the United States, but it’s not yet clear if the compact hatchback will be sold here to retail customers.
Sion went on display in New York City’s Times Square on Tuesday, followed by a stop in Brooklyn on Wednesday on a multi-city tour, Sono said in a press release. The car will also be shown in Boston, Detroit, San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles on different dates through the end of the month.
Production of the Sion is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2023 at contractor Valmet’s plant in Finland. Sono claims to have reached 20,000 pre-orders for the car in Europe, where it’s expected to start at the equivalent of $25,000.
Sono Sion in Times Square
However, the company has hinted that Sion is only being developed under European regulations and has not discussed the company’s plans to sell it to retail customers in the US. .
Along with 20,000 retail pre-orders, Sono claims to have 12,000 pre-orders from fleet operators, including 12,000 from car subscription service Finn, which the company notes operates in both Germany and the US.
Besides Sion, Sono developed a toolkit that allows trucks and buses that run on diesel engines to be retrofitted with solar panels to run things like air conditioners and chillers.
Sono Sion and other vehicles equipped with Sono . solar panels
“In addition to our plan to begin supplying Sion to the European market next year, we are actively evaluating US partnership opportunities while expanding our portfolio of integrated solar solutions for home owners. fleet operators,” Sono CEO Laurin Hahn said in a statement, adding that companies in both Europe and the United States are using or testing Sono’s technology.
What sets the Sion apart from most other EVs is that it’s designed to use every body panel as a solar panel. The body shell is covered with 456 solar elements, which charges a 54 kWh lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery pack. This pack can also be normally charged up to 75 kw with DC fast charger or 11 kw with level 2 AC charger.
The solar cells could extend Sion’s estimated 190-mile range by 70 miles per week in moderate weather conditions, or up to 152 miles a week under optimal weather conditions. Bidirectional charging also allows the Sion to act as a mobile power bank or store energy outside the home by discharging up to 11 kW.