The United States and China may be at the forefront of electric vehicle startups, but that doesn’t mean other countries are standing still.
Take Germany, for example. A few months ago we’ve learned of an EV startup called e.Go that aims to bring an electric city car to market for as little as €15,900 (about $18,000). But did you know there is another German-based startup called Sono Motors that builds an electric vehicle that charges its battery using solar power?
It’s called the Sion and it comes in at a similar starting price to the e.Go Life — €16,000 (approximately $18,100), excluding the battery pack (which the customer could rent/lease or buy it outright).
The latest episode of Fully Charged takes a close look at the Sion, an awkward-looking vehicle that is pretty clever though. It integrates solar cells no only into the roof but also on every reasonably flat surface of the car: the bonnet, the doors, the rear fenders, and the tailgate.
Sono Motors claims the Sion’s 35 kWh battery offers a range of 255 km (158 miles) under the WLTP standard. In Germany, the company estimates the Sion could generate up to 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) of additional range per day, just by being parked in the sun.
The total number of 330 cells can generate a maximum power of 1,204 watts with 24 percent efficiency. And since it features bidirectional charging technology, the Sion can draw, store and share energy — as demonstrated in the video where the car powers a coffee maker.
Another interesting thing about the Sion is that it comes with a natural air-filtration system called “breSono” that features moss integrated into the dashboard. According to Sono Motors, the system uses electrostatic gravitation to filter up to 20 percent of particulate matter out of the air.
Finally, the electric motor that delivers 120 kW (163 PS/161 hp) and 290 Nm (214 lb-ft) of torque ensures the Sion is no slouch. The car can reach a top speed of 140 km/h (87 mph) and sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in under 9 seconds. Head over to the video to learn more about this intriguing electric vehicle from the makers themselves.