German company Sono Motors is diving into the electric cars market with a promise to deliver a car that is both electric and solar. The family friendly, six-seat car Sion comes with integrated solar cells in the body, a range of 250 kilometers and a price tag of €16,000.
The market has welcomed electric cars with open arms with demand pushing their sales up by 120% in the past year. If found safe, the electric, solar and affordable hybrid could become an instant success.
“Sion is the first electric production car capable of recharging its batteries from the sun. So now, you’ll never have to worry about range,” the company says.
The solar panels allows the car to move up to 30 kilometers a day. The car can also be charged using electricity, with up to 80% of the battery charging within 30 minutes. To protect the solar cells, the company used polycarbonate, a light material that neither breaks nor gets scratched.
“The stored energy can, through bidirectional charging, be used for all common electronic devices,” the company adds.
The company also states that it’s post sales services will be of high-quality and cheap with a system called reSono.
“It guarantees cheap maintenance costs due to very cheap spare parts,” co-founder of Sono Motors Laurin Hahn says. ” Online you can get solutions, download 3D data, or just order the part which needs to be fixed and get it delivered to your home by a parcel service.”
Car owners can use instruction manuals that will help them install the damaged parts of their vehicle, Hahn highlights. Car owners can also go to their car repair shop that also has access to the manuals and video tutorials.
But if you thought that the car’s only innovation lies in its solar exterior, then you are mistaken.
“A special lichen [moss] is used, which is known for its appealing looks and excellent air filtration,” the company says. “In spite of the naturalness of the moss, it actually requires no care since the plant draws its water from the air.” The moss acts as a natural air conditioner as its contains humidity levels. It also helps bind fine dust and acts as a flame-retardant.
To build production-related prototypes, the company launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo in which it collected over €284,000. Sono Motors is hoping to deliver its car to the European Union, Switzerland, Great Britain, India, USA, Canada and Australia by 2018.