Sono Motors Sion

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Sono Sion Front Back.jpg
Prototype of the white Sono Sion at a product presentation in the Munich Olympic Stadium
ManufacturerSono Motors
Productionprojected fall 2021 start, early 2022 customer deliveries
Body and chassis
ClassElectric car (B)
Body style5-door hatchback
Electric motor120 kW (160 Hp)
TransmissionSingle gear
Batterylithium-ion battery
Electric range250 km (160 mi)
Length4.11 m (13 ft 6 in)
Width1.79 m (5 ft 10 12 in)
Height1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)
Curb weight1,400 kg (3,086 lb)

Sion is an announced solar powered, full electric car, currently being developed by the German start-up Sono Motors. Its battery can be charged using the electric grid or its own solar cells.[1]


The founders of Sono Motors have been working on the realization of the Sion since 2012.[2] In 2016 and 2017, several crowdfunding campaigns were used to collect more than 2 million Euro for implementation.[3][4][5] In July 2016 computer graphics of the vehicle were presented.[6]

Since August 2017, there are two functional prototypes built by Roding Automobile, whose form and function are already to be largely similar to the end product.[7] Design, equipment and processing will be further optimized until final delivery. The experience gained during the test drives in 12 European cities (August 2017 to October 2017) is part of the further development. In autumn 2017, according to Sono, the series development began in cooperation with various partners. The Crashtest or Homologation is to take place in 2018, aiming for the 4* NCAP safety standard.[8] The series production and delivery of the Sion is to start in the middle of 2019.[9] In 2017, several medium-sized investors have joined Sono Motors, including the founder of the German energy service provider Juwi and the Böllinger Group.[10]

On May 9, 2018, Sono Motors announced the award of a major contract for the development and manufacture of a battery system for its solar vehicle to the German automotive supplier ElringKlinger. The total volume amounts to several hundred million euros over a term of eight years.[11] On June 6, 2018, Sono Motors announced in a press release that the Sion is to be equipped with LED headlamps that were previously unusual for this price category. Automotive Solutions Germany GmbH (ASG) is to be the supplier for this.[12]

According to a press release from Sono Motors, on June 14, 2018 the minimum number of 5,000 reservations for Sion was reached.[13] On April 17, 2019, Sono Motors announced production would start by late 2020, using National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) at their Trollhättan (Sweden) site, formerly a SAAB car plant,[14] but later delayed the production start target to late 2021.

In late 2019, the company set a year-end fundraising goal of €50 million. It missed the goal, but extended the timeframe and hit the mark three weeks later, in January 2020.[15][16]


The Sion is a purely electrically driven car, which can be charged by a Type2- / CCS- charging interface, as well as by its own photovoltaic modules integrated into the car's outer skin.


The drive will be a three-phase asynchronous motor with a power of 120 kilowatts (161 hp). The motor voltage is 400 V. With the rear wheel drive, a top speed of 140 kilometres per hour (87 mph) should be possible.[17]

Solar cells (viSono)[edit]

Side view of the black prototype in October 2017

The roof, bonnet and large parts of the outer shell of the body are equipped with highly efficient monocrystalline silicon cells (especially efficient in diffuse light, aiming to load 100% of their potential capacity at angles of incidence down to 70°) which are protected by a layer of polycarbonate. The startup uses the product name viSono. The total area of the 330 photovoltaic modules is 7.5 square metres (81 sq ft) with an announced efficiency of 21%. The maximum total power output is 1208 Wp, which means that the daily range gained in Central Europe is at a maximum of 34 kilometres (21 mi) a day under favorable conditions (sunshine) and on average over a whole year about 10 kilometres (6 mi) a day.[18]


Sono Motors pursues a one-product strategy, i.e. the car is expected to be produced only in one equipment variant.

The Sion has room for 5 passengers. The seats offer 45 centimetres (18 in) of shoulder freedom and are all foldable. The drivers' seat is adjustable in height and position. The outer color will be black. The luggage compartment has a standard capacity of 650 litres (23 cu ft) and can be increased to a total of 1,250 litres (44 cu ft) by turning over the rear seats. In the interior, a natural filter made of moss regulates the humidity and filters fine dust (breSono). Front and rear airbags can be deactivated, so that child seats can be used. The electric handbrake is integrated into the center console. A trailer coupling for trailers up to 750 kilograms (1,650 lb) will be available as an option.

The Sion will be equipped with ABS, an alarm system, driver and passenger (deactivatable) airbags, side airbags with head and chest protection at the front as well as ESP with drive slip control.[17] A reversing camera, cruise control and heated front seats will be included.[8]

Interior of the prototype, August 2017

Current storage (biSono)[edit]

The bidirectional charging system will enable the charging of other electric vehicles (11 kW) via a further Type2 socket, as well as the charging of standard household appliances (2.7 kW / 230 V) at the Sion via a Schuko socket.[18]


In several electromobility forums, criticism was voiced, according to which the announcements of the start-up to the vehicle were unrealistically ambitious. In the prototype vehicles, individual observers recognized parts of the interior, chassis and drive of the BMW i3 with a concealed or removed BMW trademark. This questioned the creation height of the prototype and made the announcements appear doubtful.[19][20]

On September 14, 2017, Sono Motors responded to this criticism in social networks and forums.[21]

Battery and range[edit]

A water-cooled Li-Ion battery (LiMn2O4) with a capacity of 35-45 kWh and a weight of approx. 250 kilograms (550 lb) is to be used as the Sion's power storage. Because of the current rapid advances in battery technology, the final battery choice has been deferred until later in the development process.[18]

The Sion will be delivered with a CCS connector system with an integrated Type 2 connector. The type 2 charging cable is expected to be available at an extra charge. The built-in charger is designed to charge the battery with 3.7 kW to 22 kW of power (AC) for Mode2 and Mode3 charging according to IEC 62196. For DC charging to CCS, 50 kW charging capacity is indicated.

The Sion is to have a range of 320 kilometres (200 mi) (NEFZ), which corresponds to approximately 250 km (160 mi) under realistic driving conditions.

Flexible Charging[edit]

According to Sion the charging can be performed on any charging station in Europe employing various charging methods such as SchuKo, Type 2, and CCS.

Using SchuKo in other words European Household Plug method, the empty car battery fully charges completely up to 100 percent up to 13 hours, based on the socket capacity.

The Sion vehicle using Type 2 Standard Charging Station method can be charged up to 80 percent in 2.5 hours and up to 100 percent in 3.2 hours.

The Rapid Charging Station (CCS) charge the battery up to 80 percent  in half an hour. By charging an additional 30 minutes the battery charges up to 100 percent. 80 percent of charge allows a 200-kilometer range, which is enough according to distance between stations.


Dimensions[22] in mm
Total Length 4290
Total Width 1830
With exterior mirrors 2100
Wheelbase 2770
Front track 1580
Rear track 1590
Height 1670
Trunk sill height unladen 780
Maximum trunk opening width 1100
Trunk opening height 700
Maximum loading length (tailgate to front seat) 1600
Loading length behind rear seats 800
Trunk volume in liters (non VDA standard) 650
With rear seats folded down 1250


One of the inventions of Sion motors is the artificial air filtration called BreSono.[23] This uses moss placed in the dashboard and the center of console to augment the air filtration. According to Sono motors, moss can increase the indoor air quality by filtering up to 20 percent of air particulates. The BreSono does not require special care i.e. watering, fertilizing, trimming or exposing to sunlight due to avoided enzymatic reaction of moss. BreSono has sponge properties that controls humidity where it either extracts it from the air or adds it to the air, according to the air humidity. In dry air, the moss provides extra moisture and its consistency becomes less soft. This filter could be replaced during a filter change.

Workshop ("reSono")[edit]

The workshop manual for the Sion, including CAD data of all spare parts for 3D printers or CNC Milling, will be publicly available (license-free) with the delivery of the first models so that future repair costs may be expected to be reasonable.[17] With additional explanatory videos and a catalog of instructions on the site, it should be possible to install spare parts in the vehicle either independently of a workshop or by a workshop with limited experience of the Sion.[24]

Sharing ("goSono")[edit]

On request, the owner of the vehicle is able to use his / her mobile phone app to offer other people electric power (power-sharing), a ride-way (ridesharing) or to rent out his car (car-sharing).[25]

Business Plans[edit]

Sweden         [edit]

Sono Motors is going to manufacture the first generation of its solar electric vehicles in Trollhättan, Sweden.[26] Previously, the manufacturing facility was owned by SAAB, though after its bankruptcy in 2012, it is now the National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) which is in charge of the production of the new series of Sion Vehicles as the crowdfunding solar-powered Sion EV.[26][27][28]

The Netherlands[edit]

Sono Motors Founders also intend to move part of their business toward the Netherlands, as there is a growing e-mobility market there. They plan to captivate and intrigue the public interest so as to launch their zero-emission vehicle for sale, holding tours in 18 cities of the Netherlands and Germany.[29]

Reservation and Order[edit]

Currently, the vehicle can be reserved on the Sono Motors website for a deposit.[30] A contract of sale for the Sion will be offered to these prospective customers in 2020. There is a two-week right of revocation and rescission. The delivery will take place free of charge only to Trollhättan (Sweden) in 2021, at an extra charge also to a desired place.[31]


The Sion will cost 16,000 euros in its standard configuration without a battery, or €25,500 for a complete car. By the use of older – and thus no longer legally protected – components of traditional car manufacturers this low price compared to other electric cars is possible.[32] The drive train as well as the battery are provided by automotive suppliers.

The battery will be offered either at a monthly amount (rent or lease) or for purchase. The one-time purchase price of the battery was initially projected by Sono Motors to be less than 4,000 euros.,[33] but was later increased to a realistic estimate of 9,500 euros.[34]


An intended long-term production goal is 43,000 vehicles annually, gradually ramping up to 260,000 by 2028. In late 2019, with 10,000 units preordered, Sono predicted a September 2021 production start,[35] with the preorder page showing customer deliveries targeted for early 2022.

Sono also plan to extend their vehicle models on the same platform, but they didn't publish any details yet on what those models might be, or what would be the co-producing companies. The aim is using 100% renewable energy to power that factory.

Organizational Chart[edit]

Founders Management Team
Jona Christians
Laurin Hahn Thomas Hausch (COO)
Navina Pernsteiner Laurin Hahn (CEO)
Isa Krupka (CCO)


The legal provisions in Europe apply to the warranty. In addition, Sono Motors provides a guarantee for the Sion of either two years or 100,000 km (62,000 mi).[31]


  1. ^ "First look at working prototypes of Sono Motors' solar and battery-powered electric car". electrek. 2017-10-23. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
  2. ^ "Sono Motors". Podcast "Clean Electric" Folge 13 (in German). 2016-08-11. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  3. ^ Indiegogo. "Sion. A Solarcar for everyone". Archived from the original on 2016-09-23. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  4. ^ Wiwin. "Unternehmensfinanzierung im Bereich Elektromobilität" (in German). Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  5. ^ Seedrs. "Develop, build & market an electric vehicle with novel drive, mobility and charging technologies". Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  6. ^ (2016-08-03). "Sono Motors präsentiert Sion - ein Solarauto für Jedermann" (in German). Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  7. ^ Roding Automobile. "Sono Motors präsentiert Funktionsprototypen des SION" (in German). Archived from the original on 2017-10-17. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  8. ^ a b Sono Motors (2017-11-10). "Produkt-Update durch Sono Motors" (in German). Retrieved 2017-11-19.
  9. ^ Ingenieurversteher. "Sono Motors definiert mit dem Sion die urbane Mobilität neu" (in German). Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  10. ^ "So fährt sich das Solarauto von Sono Motors" (in German). Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  11. ^ "Sono Sion: Batterie-Großauftrag geht an ElringKlinger –" (in German). Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  12. ^ "Sono Motors setzt beim Solarauto Sion auf neue LED-Scheinwerfer-Technologie" (in German). Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  13. ^ "Über ein Jahr vor Produktionsstart verbucht Sono Motors bereits mehr als 5.000 Reservierungen" (in German). Retrieved 2018-06-14.
  14. ^ Sono Motors. "Sono Motors produziert Sion in Schweden" (in German). Sono Motors. Retrieved 2019-04-17.
  15. ^ Mendoza, Ron (2020-01-20). "Sono Motors' Crowdfunding Helps German Solar Car Startup Raise $55M". International Business Times. Retrieved 2020-01-29.
  16. ^ Sachgau, Oliver (2020-01-19). "German Solar Car Startup Sono to Stay in Business After Crowdfunding Success". Retrieved 2020-01-29.
  17. ^ a b c Sono Motors. "Factsheet" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  18. ^ a b c Sono Motors. "Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)". Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  19. ^ Forum of Tesla-Drivers. "Discussion (Thread closed)" (in German).
  20. ^ goingelectric. "Diskussion um COP-Teile (Thread closed)" (in German). Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  21. ^ Sono Motors (2017-09-14). "Richtigstellung von Falschaussagen" (in German). Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Sion Electric Car". Sono Motors. Retrieved 2019-06-09.
  24. ^ Sono Motors. "reSono". Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  25. ^ Sono Motors. "goSono". Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  26. ^ a b Kreetzer, Alex (2019-05-14). "Sono Motors to Produce Sion in Sweden". Auto Futures. Retrieved 2019-06-09.
  27. ^ "Sono Motors aims for 200,000 Sion units". 2018-09-02. Retrieved 2019-06-09.
  28. ^ Dow, Jameson (2019-04-17). "Sono Motors will build solar-powered Sion EV at SAAB's former Sweden factory". Electrek. Retrieved 2019-06-09.
  29. ^ Dow, Jameson (2019-04-17). "Sono Motors will build solar-powered Sion EV at SAAB's former Sweden factory". Electrek. Retrieved 2019-06-09.
  30. ^ Sono Motors. "Preorder the Sion". Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  31. ^ a b "Standard Form Contract" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  32. ^ Manager-Magazin. "Kräftiger Antritt, kleine Macken - so fährt das Billig-Solarauto" (in German). Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  33. ^ Sono Motors. "Sion - Infinite Mobility". Archived from the original on 2017-10-22. Retrieved 2017-10-22.
  34. ^ Sono Motors. "Frequently Asked Questions". Retrieved 2018-11-27.
  35. ^ "Sono Motors Launches Community Funding Campaign with Target of 50 Million Euros". Sono Motors. Retrieved 2019-12-02.

External links[edit]

Media related to Sono Sion at Wikimedia Commons