Solar-powered electric car set to launch in 2019 – Here’s everything you need to know
A start-up company is hoping to bring a solar-powered electric car to market by as early as 2019.
Sono Motors is currently entering the final development phase of the solar charging system for its first car.
The Munich-based start firm is developing the car that lets you recharge your vehicle as you drive.
Called the Sion, it has solar cells integrated into the bodywork which will allow it to gain power to convert into range while driving.
Sion will have 330 solar cells attached to the vehicle’s roof, bonnet and sides and its battery system will offer a range of around 250 km (155 miles) before it needs recharging.
It can be charged via solar power, from conventional power outlets or other electric cars.
The company was founded in 2016 and the carmaker has over 6,000 reservations for the car which will be featured in two different forms – Urban and Extender.
Urban will achieve range of up to 120km (75 miles) of range on a single charge and cost €12,000 while the Extender will cost around €16,000 (£14,200) and achieve up to 250km (155 miles) of range.
According to the carmaker it will be able to regenerate up to 30km of range a day from the panels.
How much range can be regenerated from the solar panels or how it utilises the energy gathered from the panels across the bodywork has not yet been confirmed.
The exterior is mainly comprised of rustproof polycarbonate which is scratch resistant and has solar panels covering 7.5 square metres of the car’s body.
One issue is that the car looks slightly unusual and realistically only works in black for the panels to be effective and be hidden.
Inside the car, one unusual feature is the addition of moss which acts as an air purifier to filter out particulates and dust using electromagnetic charge.
The car will also have bidirectional charging which means its charge and energy can be utilised for a number of different things such as an external light or cooker if you were camping for example.
“We have a seat heater, there is air conditioning, there is a large infotainment system where I can also connect my phone interactively, which means I really have a full vehicle which is very simple, has no frills,” Laurin Hahn, co-founder and chief executive of the startup told Reuters.
Production will start in the second half of 2019 at one of its German plants and Sono Motors will aim to start selling the vehicle next year.