German mobility provider Sono Motors has released the first images of the Sion solar electric car interior. A key design feature of the Sion is the seamless integration of solar cells into the car body. The concept behind the vehicle that can autonomously charge itself using solar power and thereby generate additional range was developed as a way of rapidly establishing sharing services and electromobility.
Sono Motors says it has focused on the essentials in the cockpit of the Sion, namely functionality, intuitive operation, user-friendliness, and connectivity. The Sion interior design takes into account the diversity of the vehicle’s usage with a robust and hard-wearing interior. A key design element in the cockpit is breSono, a natural filter that improves the interior climate and reduces particulate pollution.
Sono Motors says it will be possible to control all the mobility services directly via the central 10-inch display of the infotainment system with integrated connectivity as well as via the goSono app. Consumption data and vehicle information can be called up on the main display, where central vehicle functions can also be managed. Data concerning the vehicle’s solar range is made available directly on the 7-inch display within the steering wheel area. A private smartphone can be connected to the infotainment system via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Phone calls and the availability of one’s own music are guaranteed thanks to a Bluetooth interface.
According to Roberto Diesel, CTO of Sono Motors, "The avoidance of redundant luxury in the interior equipment and the cost savings through sharing favour the willingness to share the Sion. Thus, vehicle owners and sharing users actively contribute to the improvement of our climate.”
Sono Motors claims the Sion is the first production vehicle to bring together solar integration, mobility services, and the option of sharing power via a bidirectional charging function. The seamless integration of solar cells into the vehicle’s surface (viSono) makes this innovative all-rounder independent of the charging infrastructure over short distances. Up to 5,800 kilometres of free and carbon-neutral range can be generated with viSono per year, thereby lowering the cost of running the car.
What is the Sono Sion?
The Sion is a self-charging electric car. Integrated solar cells charge the battery throughout the day, making the car a mobile charging station. The distinguishing characteristic of the exterior is the full-surface integration of the solar cells, which completely redefines the body. The hood, fenders, sides, roof and rear of the vehicle carry solar cells that visually blend into the surface. The Sion thus becomes an SEV, a Solar Electric Vehicle, whose battery can additionally be charged by the power of the sun. The system is protected by a robust, scratch-resistant polymer.
With solar cells seamlessly integrated into the entire body, the Sion can easily charge its battery through the sun. Thus, under ideal conditions, up to 34 kilometers of additional range per day can be achieved with pure solar energy - CO 2 neutral and completely free of charge. This means full self-sufficiency on short distances. For solar integration, the Sion uses monocrystalline silicon cells that produce energy even under cloudy skies or in the shade. At peak performance, the integrated cells can generate up to 1.2 kilowatts.
It was in March 2019 that Sono Motors, the German provider of sustainable mobility concepts and producer of the first series-produced electric car with solar integration, unveiled the first images of the Sion. The standout feature of the Sono Sion is the full-surface incorporation of solar modules into the bodywork – one of the vehicle’s unique features that have influenced its design.
Technology developed by Sono Motors has the solar cells meld seamlessly into the vehicle’s surface and can generate up to 34 kilometres of additional range a day at peak performance.
“After unveiling our first prototype in summer 2017, we continued to develop our solar integration technology, which we have been working on since 2016,” said Mathieu Baudrit, head of Research and Development, Solar Integration, at Sono Motors, earlier this year. “The production vehicle will feature full-surface integrated solar cells that are embedded in hard-wearing, resilient polymer and that contribute to the vehicle’s design aesthetic thanks to optimised colour matching.”
The lithium ion battery, which has a capacity of 35 kWh and features water cooling, delivers a a range of 255km under the WLTP standard. With the motor offering 120 kW (163 HP) in connection with a single-speed transmission, the three-phase synchronous motor can help the Sion accelerate up to 140kph. The maximum powertrain’s operating voltage is 400 volts. The Sion comes equipped with ABS, driver and passenger airbags and ESP.
Series production is scheduled to start in the second half of next year, with a total of 260,000 vehicles being produced. The first series production SEV will be manufactured at the former SAAB plant in Trollhättan, Sweden. For its rollout, the SEV will be delivered in a version costing 25,500 euros (Rs 20.26 lakh). Other vehicles based on the Sion platform are planned, including for the international market.
Also read: Hyundai’s solar roof-charging system debuts on new Sonata Hybrid