This New German Car Charges Itself on the Street
Sono Motors, a German startup, has managed to raise more than $200,000 towards the production of a solar-charged electric vehicle called SION. Once built, the electric car will use solar panels as its main power source. Since the EV will generate its power using the solar panels integrated on the sides, roof and rear, the vehicle will have a rather unusual look. The German automakers intend to sell two versions of the electric vehicle–a $13,000 ‘Urban’ version concocted with a single charge range of 75 miles, and an $18,000 ‘Extender’ version designed with a single charge range of 155 miles.
The two electric vehicles will sport built-in photovoltaic panels, which will generate an estimated range of 18 miles of driving each day. Additionally, the vehicle will also be engineered in such a way that it can also be recharged using a regular household outlet. The simple design of the vehicle was selected to make the solar car easy to repair. The company has also promised to offer instructional videos for owners who may want to make repairs themselves. The interior of the vehicle will also feature some unusual features such as a particular species of Iceland moss.
The Iceland moss will be integrated into the fan to serve as natural air filters. Because the moss will draw water required for growth and development from the surrounding air, it will require no special upkeep. Apart from being able to purify the air, the moss will also be able to absorb the surrounding traffic noise, thus offering an exceedingly relaxed ride. The seating capacity of the solar car is six. The back seat will be engineered to easily to fold down for extra cargo space.
The dashboard will feature a 10-inch display unit that can be paired up with a smartphone via wifi or Bluetooth. By pairing up the display unit with a smartphone, the driver will be able to easily access contacts, GPS/navigation and also stream music from the smartphone. While the funding campaign presented the customers with an opportunity to reserve a full day test drive and place deposits on the vehicles.
The startup is in talks with manufacturers and hopes to have models ready in mid-2017 for trial runs and crash tests, with the first deliveries of the finished vehicle in 2018. See more at www.sonomotors.com.