๐Ÿš—๐ŸŒž World’s First Solar-Powered Electric Car Enters Production ๐Ÿญ

This week marks a major milestone in the evolution of electric vehicles, as Sono Motors’ Sion solar-powered car officially entered series production at the Valmet Automotive plant in Finland. ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ This compact 5-seat family car is the world’s first production solar electric vehicle that can self-charge using only the power of the sun. ๐ŸŒž With integrated solar cells covering the exterior, the Sion can gather enough sunlight over the week to drive up to 112 km per charge. ๐Ÿ”‹ This gives it a potential range of up to 305 km, reducing reliance on charging infrastructure. ๐Ÿš˜ As the shift to electric accelerates globally, solar integration represents an innovative solution to range anxiety and accessibility. The Sion’s launch ushers in a new era of solar mobility that is both sustainable and convenient. ๐Ÿ’š

A Solar Revolution ๐Ÿ’ก๐ŸŒž

The Sion contains 248 integrated solar half-cells that cover the bonnet, roof, and other exterior surfaces. ๐Ÿš™๐ŸŒž This allows it to charge its 54 kWh LFP battery pack directly from the sun while parked, dramatically extending its range between charges. ๐Ÿš€ On average, it can add 112 km of charge per week from solar energy alone in Central European conditions. ๐ŸŒก๏ธ Depending on the climate and time of year, solar charging can contribute up to 34 km of extra range per day. ๐Ÿ“ˆ So even in cold winter months, the Sion can gather a meaningful amount of power from the sun.

This is a game-changer for electric vehicle adoption, as range anxiety has been one of the key barriers.๐Ÿ”‹ With the Sion, you can drive to work Monday to Friday using solar power, without having to find a charger. ๐Ÿ˜Ž The sun takes care of topping up your battery, easing pressure on charging infrastructure as EV adoption increases.๐ŸŒž And if you do need to plug in, the Sion supports both AC charging up to 11 kW, and DC fast charging up to 75 kW. ๐Ÿ”Œ

Efficient and Affordable โ˜€๏ธ๐Ÿ’ฐ

Remarkably, the Sion achieves a solar range of 112 km each week with a relatively sleek and aerodynamic design. ๐Ÿš— At just 4.47 metres long and 1.85 meters wide, it has a drag coefficient of only 0.29 Cd. This excellent aerodynamic efficiency maximizes range while keeping the exterior compact. yet it still comfortably seats 5 passengers with plenty of room. ๐Ÿ‘ช

Despite its high-tech solar capabilities, the Sion is aimed at the mass market with a starting price of only โ‚ฌ25,126 in Germany after subsidy. ๐Ÿ’ถ For that, buyers get a well-equipped electric car with solar charging, 8-year battery warranty, and all the modern features expected today. This positions the Sion as an affordable, sustainable option for families seeking to go electric and reduce their carbon footprint.๐ŸŒ

Solar Panel Design ๐Ÿ’ก๐Ÿ‘ท

Integrating solar panels into a production car requires innovative engineering and design. For the Sion’s solar system, Sono Motors partnered with electric mobility specialists MW Motors to develop custom solar technology. ๐Ÿค The 248 half-cells are embedded across the exterior in a patented polymer and form a seamless part of the bodywork. This avoids the look of tacked-on panels that could impact styling and aerodynamics. ๐Ÿฅฐ

The solar cells use monocrystalline silicon technology for high efficiency up to 25%. They are certified to automotive standards for durability, crash safety, temperature resistance, and UV protection. A custom power electronics system seamlessly integrates the solar generation into the main 400V traction battery pack. ๐Ÿค“ The system is cleverly tuned to harvest every last photon from dawn till dusk. ๐ŸŒ…

Sustainable Mobility๐ŸŒฟ

With global sales of EVs growing exponentially each year, the Sion represents the next step in sustainable personal transportation. ๐Ÿš—โ™ป๏ธ Its solar charging capabilities give it an advantage over other compact EVs like the Peugeot e-208 or Opel Corsa-e. Drivers can significantly reduce their carbon footprint without compromise on usability. ๐Ÿ‘

And for those looking to live sustainably, the Sion has a few other eco-conscious features too. The interior uses recycled PET felt made from plastic bottles, vegan artificial leather, and natural materials like hemp and flax. ๐ŸŒฑ The company also plans to incorporate moss into the dashboard as a natural air purifier. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Production Begins! ๐ŸŽฌ

The first series production Sion rolled off Valmet Automotive’s assembly line in Finland on August 22, 2022. This facility has expertise building EVs, also manufacturing the Mercedes EQC and Fisker Ocean. ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Sono Motors’ founder and CEO Laurin Hahn called the milestone a โ€œhuge step towards our goal of deploying our solar electric vehicles to combat climate change.” ๐ŸŒ The company aims to produce 257,000 Sion vehicles at Valmet by 2030.

Series production comes after Sono completed prototype testing and extensive pre-orders indicating strong early demand. Over 20,000 reservations have been made with a โ‚ฌ500 deposit. ๐Ÿ™Œ Now the first several thousand Sion cars will be built for those customers, with initial deliveries in Germany expected to begin in the first half of 2023. The solar revolution on our roads is just getting started! โ˜€๏ธ๐Ÿš˜

Key Sion Features โœจ

Exterior Solar Integration ๐Ÿš˜โ˜€๏ธ

  • 248 integrated solar half-cells (monocrystalline silicon)
  • Seamlessly blends into bodywork/exterior design
  • Adds up to 34 km of range per day
  • Up to 112 km of range per week
  • Total range up to 305 km

Battery and Charging ๐Ÿ’ชโšก

  • 54 kWh LFP battery pack (liquid cooled)
  • 8 year battery warranty ๐Ÿ”‹
  • 11 kW AC charging ๐Ÿ 
  • Up to 75 kW DC fast charging โšก
  • Bidirectional AC charging for V2G/V2H

Performance ๐ŸŽ

  • Front-wheel drive compact hatchback
  • Up to 140 km/h top speed ๐ŸŽ
  • 0 to 100 km/h in 9 seconds โšก
  • 33.5 kWh battery for 125 km range (16.6 kWh/100km) โšก

Exterior Design ๐Ÿ˜

  • 4.47 m long
  • 1.85 m wide
  • 255 liter trunk capacity
  • 0.29 drag coefficient ๐Ÿ’จ
  • Compact 5-seater ๐Ÿ‘ช
  • Vibrant color options โœจ

Interior ๐Ÿ’บ๐ŸŒฟ

  • Comfortable seating for 5
  • Recycled PET felt materials
  • Natural & vegan materials ๐ŸŒฑ
  • Moss in dashboard as air purifier ๐Ÿ˜ƒ
  • Digital instrument cluster
  • Smartphone integration ๐Ÿ“ฑ
  • Voice control ๐ŸŽค

The Road Ahead โ˜€๏ธ๐Ÿš˜

The pioneering Sion solar electric car won’t be alone for long. Several other automakers are working on solar integration, including Lightyear, Toyota, and Hyundai. Solar panels will allow EVs to drive farther between charges and put less strain on the grid as adoption grows. And innovative solar design will make this technology blend seamlessly into the car.

Sono Motors plans to offer solar retrofits for existing vehicles as another way to spur sustainable transportation. โšก๐Ÿ›  And their solar technology can have numerous other applications beyond personal vehicles, including trucks, buses, RVs, trains, ships and more. The age of solar mobility is just beginning! ๐ŸŒž๐Ÿš—

What do you think of the new solar-powered Sion and the future of this technology? Let us know in the comments! โ˜€๏ธโ›ฝ๐Ÿ’ฌ