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Sion is the world’s first solar production car. And it is affordable
It will be put on the market in 2018 and will be a six-passenger model. Designed in Germany and crowd-funded, it is world’s first solar car to be mass-produced. Prices start from 12,000 euros and the car travels 250 km on a full charge.
The electric car that is rechargeable thanks to solar energy is now a reality. Not a prototype, not a concept, not a show car displayed in an auto show, it is a functioning, concrete vehicle that can be ordered starting from next year. A step towards unconventional mobility. And most importantly a step that everyone can afford, since its price won’t exceed 12,000 euros.
A five-seater and six-door car
The world’s first production car partially powered by solar panels was invented in Germany by three neo-graduates who launched the start-up Sono Motors. In a garage in Munich they spent four years designing and making the first prototype of an electric car powered by solar panels. The creation of this car recalls the invention of the first Apple computer by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Sion, this is what Sono Motors called their “creature”, is a five-seater and six-door saloon, 4.11 metres long and made with light and resistant materials including polycarbonate and thermoplastic polyurethane. These solutions have already been used in the automotive industry; consider the BMW Group that uses carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) to build the cabin of the i3 electric model.
30 km more thanks to solar energy
With a 30 kWh lithium battery and a battery life of 250 kilometres, Sion is equipped with 7.5 square metres of solar panels. 30 kilometres per day are possible with electricity generated by the sun. So, it is a “common” electric vehicle but it also uses solar energy. It represents a considerable step forward compared to what has been invented so far, since the roof of the plug-in hybrid saloon Toyota Prius Prime, sold in Japan, and the Volkswagen Tiguan GTE and Ford C-MAX Solar Energi prototypes were the only applications of the photovoltaic technology to the automotive field. Nobody so far has introduced a vehicle covered with solar panels on the market. In addition, Sion reaches a maximum speed of 140 km/h and also functions as an accumulator, in fact, once connected to a socket it generates more than 2,000 watts.
Two versions and an air purification system
Sion is available in two versions: Urban, fitted with a 14.4 kWh battery that has a 120 kilometre range, which will cost 12,000 euros; Extender, characterised by battery cells with a capacity of 30 kWh, thanks to which it’s possible to travel 250 kilometres on a full charge, which will cost 16,000 euros. The first models will be crowd-funded, so everyone can contribute to funding them with five or more euros. It will be put on the market in 2018. Provided that you have a green thumb, Yes, because the air purification system will use a small lichen plantation inserted in the dashboard. The best of sustainability.
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