Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Below we’ve put together the most important information regarding Sono Motors and the Sion. We're currently in the midst of the series development of the Sion. We ask for your understanding that technical details may still be subject to change. You can catch up on the latest news in our newsletter – feel free to subscribe here.

Top Three

The Sion is an electric vehicle that additionally charges its battery using energy from the sun. The Sion therefore introduces a new vehicle class: SEV - Solar Electric Vehicle.

The car's roof, hood and body are covered with monocrystalline silicon cells protected by polymer. Electricity stored in the Sion can be used to charge other electric vehicles or power electrical devices, thanks to its bi-directional charging function. The use of natural icelandic moss provides both an innovative design highlight and a pleasant ambient.

The Sion is a family-friendly, all-rounder. Five doors, five seats (2 + 3) and a big trunk that offers plenty of space. The powerful electric motor enables a maximum speed of 140 km/h. Optional trailer coupling allows for an unbraked towing load of up to 750 kilograms.

The Sion has a full range of up to 255 km, in accordance with the WLTP standard. The integrated fast charging system also allows you to cover further distances, problem-free. A charging power of up to 50 kW DC charges 80 % of the battery in just 30 minutes. You can charge the battery at home via a normal household plug. We do, however, recommend the installation of a wallbox. You can find more information about the charging system under the heading "Charging".

You can reserve your Sion directly on our website. Simply select your desired reservation amount and enter your personal data.

Your reservation is a purchase option and therefore not binding. This means that you will have the option to either sign the purchase agreement and purchase the Sion, or have your deposit refunded before delivery begins.

We’re currently pursuing a single-variant strategy with the Sion. We do this in order to meet high quality and safety standards, while at the same time making logistics as efficient as possible.

However, this also means that the Sion will, for the time being, only be available in one model. In addition, we put increased emphasis on carry-over parts already tested for safety and quality. This saves us time and unnecessary expense during development and production. This gives us the oppotunity to concentrate on features that make the Sion stand apart from other vehicles. We pass these savings on to you through the price we charge. Furthermore, the integration of solar cells negates the need for the Sion to be painted. This saves a further monetary and environmental cost required for this process.

The basic price for the vehicle is expected to be €16,000, plus the additional cost of the battery, approximately € 9,500. We plan to offer the battery at a one-time purchase price as well, as well as the option to rent or lease it. The reason for excluding the battery from the price is so that we can consistently offer the most up-to-date price. We will calculate the final price for the battery based on market rates for battery cells at the time of production.

General

Sion

The first generation of prototypes were presented to the public in summer 2017. In the course of series development, the vehicle concept was continuously optimized and the technical equipment adapted. For example, all-round visibility was improved, the interior was revised and solar integration was fully integrated into the body. At the end of 2020, we succeeded in completing the second generation of prototypes. These vehicles resemble the final product in terms of design, body and equipment. Furthermore, they are also fitted with components that will also be used in series production.

We do not expect to produce a right-hand drive version of the Sion during the initial production cycle. Depending on demand and the Sion’s success, we may potentially manufacture a right-hand drive model in the future.

The Sion is expected to weigh 1.4 tonnes, battery inclusive. We’ll announce the final details as soon as they become clear during our preparations for series production.

The unbraked towing capacity of the Sion is expected to be 750 kilograms.

We are pursuing a one-variant strategy with the Sion. This means that we currently only offer one equipment variant. The Sion will, however, be prepared for installation of trailer coupling as standard. This is offered as an accessory and can be retrofitted.

The Sion will only be offered in black, in keeping with our one-variant strategy. We let the community make the decision regarding the color of the car as part of an official community poll.

Due to the introduction of automatic emergency call (eCall), from 2018, every new vehicle in the EU must have an internet connection via a built-in SIM card, in accordance with ECE homologation. In the scenario of a traffic incident, which hopefully will not occur, an emergency call is made automatically. The aim of introducing eCall is to significantly increase the chances of survival for seriously injured vehicle passengers. The Sion will provide further digital services and functions via the Sono app using this internet connection. This being said, the protection of your data is a key concern for us.

Charging

Charging electric cars is simple. There are three different ways you can charge your Sion using the following plug types:

  • CCS plug: found at fast charging stations for a charge of up to 50 kW (DC).
  • Type 2 plug: found at all standard charging stations for a charge of up to 11 kW (AC) and output (bidirectional charging): 11 kW (AC).
  • Household socket (SchuKo): for a charge of up to 3.7 kW (AC).

The Sion will come with a Type 2 plug and a CCS plug system. We also expect the Type 2 cable to be included for an additional fee. CCS charging cables are generally integrated into rapid charging stations.

Different charging times occur, depending on the method of charging. The Sion can be charged using three different charging methods:

  1. from a household socket (SchuKo): here, charging a fully discharged battery (at 100%) takes up to 13 hours, depending on how loadable the socket is.
  2. from a charging station: here, charging takes 2.5 hours to 80% and 3.5 hours to 100%. These charging stations are very widespread, especially in inner-city areas.
  3. from a fast charging station: here, charging to 80% takes 30 minutes, and a further 30 minutes must be allowed for 100%. However, 80% charging, a range of approximately 200 km, is often sufficient to bridge the distance to the next fast charging station. Fast-charging stations are now very common and can be found at almost all freeway service stations or traffic junctions.

Yes! Simply use the appropriate charging adapter to charge the Sion at any household power socket. However, we recommend you install a charging station (wallbox) to charge your car. This charging station adapts to the charging capacity of your electrical installation and tells your Sion the maximum current it can charge with.

The Sion system supports the following plugs: CCS, Type 2 (EN 62196) and European household plugs (SchuKo). For you to charge your Sion with your existing SAE J1772 plug, you will need to purchase an adapter.

Interior

The Sion comes featuring a large, family-friendly trunk with a volume of around 650 liters. The rear seats can be folded down to make for an even larger volume of around 1,250 liters.

Yes, the driver’s seat will be adjustable both up and down as well as forwards and backwards. The car will be fitted ergonomically, in line with standards (95th percentile person) commonly used in the automotive industry.

In terms of design, construction and features, our prototypes are already similar to those of the final product. During preparation for series production, the vehicle was optimized at various levels. In particular, both the interior and the general finish of the Sion have undergone a significant qualitative upgrade, which includes the seats.

Appropriate ISOFIX connectors for child safety seats are installed. The number of child safety seats possible will, of course, depend on their size.

The Sion will have folding rear seat backs, 60:40 proportioned.

The Sion will leave the factory as a five-seater. Unfortunately, extra seats cannot be installed.

Motor

The Sion will be equipped with front-wheel drive.

Due to our single-variant strategy, we unfortunately do not plan to offer any optional drive types for the Sion. The vehicle will be equipped with front-wheel drive.

The Sion is designed, above all, for everyday, urban use. Off-road use is not intended. Ground clearance is expected to be 165 millimeters, to enable the vehicle to master uneven road surfaces.

Battery

The Sion will have an expected range of up to 255 kilometers, under the WLTP standard.

We have taken various battery sizes into consideration and opted for a battery of 35 kWh. This size is perfect for everyday use. A battery with a larger capacity would increase the Sion’s consumption, as it would require more resources in production and as well increase the price.

The Sion will be offered in one variant only. This allows us to keep development processes lean and reduce costs, as well as the use of resources. Additional battery sizes are therefore not offered. The Sion will have a battery with a capacity of 35 kWh, giving you a range of up to 255 km according to WLTP standard.

Together with our partner ElringKlinger, we have developed a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery specifically for the Sion. Our battery consists of 192 cells. We have taken the different technologies for lithium-ion batteries into consideration and also the various possible cell formats, and opted for the prismatic cell shape. Among other advantages, it offers very good cooling characteristics. Liquid cooling allows the temperature of the battery to be precisely controlled, thus extending its lifetime.

No, as nowadays a range extender would always need fossil fuels. Our goal is to develop a future-oriented mobility concept that is independent of fossil fuels. We are therefore open to technologies that contribute to this objective.

In collaboration with our partner ElringKlinger, we also defined and developed the Sion's battery system. As a next step, we intend to examine the possibilities for reusing our vehicles’ batteries. We're pursuing the goal of giving our batteries a second life cycle. This procedure, ideally, allows for a battery to only be recycled once it has exceeded its lifespan, and no sooner. Car manufacturers, including Sono Motors, are legally obliged to accept back batteries and recycle them in a proper manner. Depending on the structure and material composition of the battery, various methods of recycling can be used. Given that we want to make our entire company as climate and resource-friendly as possible, we take this issue very seriously and will therefore endeavor to find the most environmental and economically-sensible recycling solution possible.

Carbon offsetting

Heat radiation that is beamed from the sun to the earth is mostly absorbed by the earth’s surface. The rest of this heat is then radiated back from the earth. Greenhouse gases, such as CO₂, stop the heat radiated by the earth from being let out into space. This natural process is called the greenhouse effect.

CO₂ is created through human activity, for example through flights, driving cars, manufacturing or burning fossil fuels to produce energy.

The man-made increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere strengthens the natural greenhouse effect, causing global warming. CO₂ plays a significant role as it makes up most of the greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans.

CO₂-offsetting is an instrument to help protect the global climate: a given amount of CO₂-emissions emitted at one place in the world is prevented at another place, because in the end it is irrelevant for the planet’s atmosphere where on earth greenhouse gases are emitted, reduced or prevented. After mitigating and reducing CO₂-emissions, CO₂-offsets are an effective measure to counteract global warming.

CO₂-offsets work by upgrading and expanding renewable energies and energy-efficient technologies in developing countries to reduce or prevent the emission of gases that affect the climate.

Individuals or businesses seeking to offset their emissions identify and record them, before obtaining ‘certified emission reduction’ (CER) certificates, by making an offset payment to carbon offset providers, climate protection projects or carbon credit dealers. One certificate represents a specific, quantifiable amount (usually one ton) of CO₂ that is saved somewhere. The advantage to this principle is that emissions are saved in the Global South – where it is most economic to do so. There have to be safeguards to check that emissions are reduced on a permanent basis and that the projects are only able to be brought to fruition through the additional funding received through the offset mechanism. That is, if those units or certificates weren’t sold, the projects would be unprofitable and therefore infeasible. The term used in the industry for this core criterion is the ‘additionality’ of the emission reductions.

Various standards are used to certify climate protection projects. They differ in the demands they place on the quality and environmental impact of the project and in local, social aspects. In order to register a climate protection project for certification, there must be scientific evidence of the project preventing CO₂-emissions. Independent bodies examine and certify this preventative effect.

There are further criteria relating to duration and social impact that must be fulfilled on top of those for climate protection benefits. High-quality climate protection projects are characterised by having positive effects for the local population of a project region.

Examples of this can include access to clean energy or improvements in household income or health. The most commonly used certification standards are the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), Gold Standard and Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the latter of which was developed by the United Nations (UN). The Gold Standard is seen worldwide as the most rigorous certification standard in regard to the requirements placed on what a project does. Gold Standard climate protection projects must ensure sustainable development in the project countries on top of additionality. The CDM, on the other hand, puts special emphasis on the quality and transparency of processes when registering and realising a climate protection project. The quality of what the project does and how it is organised is usually maximised in conjunction with the Gold Standard.

In June 2017 we decided to offset all emissions emitted at all stages of the supply chain for the Sion manufacturing process. We’re currently busy identifying and recording these emissions systematically. The supply chain of course includes the production and assembly of components and the accompanying logistics, though we also have to consider the emissions from our office and those produced by our business travel. Once we have finished identifying the emissions, we’ll get straight to the final selection of climate protection projects for offsetting, in cooperation with a partner specialised in the area. Our aim is to select projects that satisfy the highest quality standards and generate the greatest possible added benefits for the local population. The community doesn’t have to bear any additional costs for this. In keeping with the way we see ourselves and our goal of protecting the climate, CO₂-offsets are already included in the Sion purchase price.

Innovations

The Solar Integration

The Sion is an innovative vehicle that additionally charges its battery using energy from the sun. In the course of series development, the solar Integration was further optimized by our team of experts. Solar cells integrated into the body make it possible to use the Sion for several days without having to recharge it.

A total of 248 cells can generate up to 1.2 kilowatts at peak power. This energy can generate power for up to 245 km (112 km on average) a week, depending on regional weather conditions. In a year, that's up to 5,800 kilometers of emission- and cost-free range. Solar integration allows you to cover a large percentage of your average daily mileage using solar energy alone. For the solar cells, we use monocrystalline silicon cells that are integrated into the vehicle's body. Selecting the right material is our top priority. The components used must meet the following requirements: A service life of at least eight years, resistance to environmental influences such as UV rays and water, break resistance and a low weight. Usually, solar cells are laminated onto a 2 - 5 mm thick glass. However, glass has a comparatively high weight and only low break resistance. We therefore use polymer as substrate material. It is light, resistant and significantly more break-proof than glass.

If you experience a minor collision, you should first of all check to see whether and to what extent the cells in the affected panel are damaged. There is a layer of polymer that provides the solar cells underneath with the best possible protection against impact and damage, such as scratches. Unlike glass, polymer is shatterproof and makes our solar modules significantly more durable than traditional panels. Therefore, you should check the damaged module to see if it is still functioning and only replace it if it is genuinely in need of replacement.

The solar cells integrated into the body of the Sion can add up to 245 km (112 km on average) of driving range per week through solar energy to the car’s battery. In order to make the most efficient use of sunshine hours throughout the day, charging via solar Integration will be possible whilst driving.

Bidirectional Charging

Thanks to bi-directional charging technology, the Sion can draw and store electricity, and, moreover, share it too.The Sion is equipped with a household socket (SchuKo), which can be used for all common electrcal devices and can be operated up to 3.7 kW. The Sion can deliver even more power when using a Type 2 plug. You will be able to power other electric cars and high-voltage devices up to 11 kW. Combined with Sono Solar, the Sion can be your power plant on wheels.

The Sion has a battery capacity of 35 kWh. Assuming a household consumption of 5 kWh per day, the Sion can power your household for about 7 days. This period is, of course, linked to several variables and is only a theoretical consideration.

Yes, technologically speaking, the Sion is able to power a household thanks to the bidirectional charging system. However, there are a few legal restrictions in this area which we don’t have any influence on. We’re currently taking care of the legal requirements for this.

Sono Moss

The moss is not only a central design highlight in the Sion's interior, but also natural element that ensures a pleasant indoor ambience.

No, the moss is no longer alive in this processed form. It nevertheless provides a pleasant ambient. It is downstream of a commercial air filter and should be replaced at the same time.

The Sono App

The Sono App offers a variety of services with the Sion, combining innovative mobility with sustainability. With your smartphone, you can share your Sion, electricity, or a ride. The Sono app is also your digital key for the Sion and the window to real-time vehicle data. The data connections of our vehicle as well as the automatic emergency call service eCall are controlled by the Vehicle Connectivity Module.

The integrated carsharing function allows you to share your Sion with others. Everything happens through our app, no key handover necessary. Use the Sono app to manage users, create drop-off areas, and set prices. That way, everyone benefits from your Sion – including the environment and your wallet.

You can offer other uses a ride with the Sion.You share your itinerary via infotainment system or the Sono app. We publish the offer on partner sites and notify you as soon as a passenger is found. This way, you meet new people, reduce your costs, and protect the environment.

The Sono app in combination with our bidirectional charging system allows you to discharge the stored energy of your Sion. You decide how much energy you offer to power electrical devices, your home, or share with other electric cars.

Open Service System

Open Service System is an intelligently designed maintenance system that keeps costs as low as possible. Through publishing a workshop handbook, we have made it possible to establish an extensive network of independent mechanics, while keeping costs low for you. You can have maintenance and repairs carried out on your Sion in three different ways:

  1. An instructional video and catalog ensure that you can install replacement car parts without needing much prior knowledge.
  2. If you don’t feel up to it, you can easily bring the Sion into the shop for repairs. We don’t use mechanic certifications or develop proprietary technological standards. Our manual is publicly viewable and available. As a result, there will be an extensive network of partners who offer you repairs and service at an affordable price.
  3. We are planning to cooperate with a well-known European service providers for any repairs involving high-voltage or body parts. Consequently, you can be sure that your Sion will be in good hands and expertly repaired.

The Open Service System will be accessible as soon as the car is in production and being delivered. At that point, it will be possible for you to order various replacement parts for the car. We will also give you some alternatives i.e. other places that offer the part in question, like normal threaded bolts for example. In such cases, we’ll also tell you if you can easily purchase these sorts of parts at your local hardware shop. This way you’ll save both time and unnecessary expense.

Production

We will produce the Sion in collaboration with NEVS in Trollhättan, Sweden. In NEVS we found a production partner who shares our vision of a forward-looking and climate-friendly mobility. The production conditions in the former factory of the cult brand SAAB are ideal for us: appropriate production capacities, an experienced team and production using electricity from 100 percent renewable energy.

The COVID-19 global pandemic has had an impact across the automotive and technology sector, including Sono Motors and its suppliers. Components were delayed, and so was our last funding round, which we successfully closed in December 2020. In response, we decided to prioritise the timely delivery and development of the second prototype. With this strategy, we have been able to continue our technology development through the crisis and take these headwinds in stride. However, based on our proactive steps taken to manage the challenges of COVID-19, we must adjust our development timeline accordingly and shift the expected start of production to H1 2023.

To determine this start of production, we made certain assumptions like hires, development progress, and supplier onboarding based on our current funding. As with many aspects of the economy, the COVID-19 pandemic has made an unprecedented impact on Sono Motors and required us to adapt accordingly. We have updated our assumptions based on the proactive steps we took and our current operating environment to arrive at this expected start of production.

We continuously check our timings for risk delays and try to eliminate the possibility of further delays in each individual phase.

After the ramp-up of production, which will be completed within the same year in commences, we have the plant capacity to produce 43,000 vehicles per year in 2-shift operation. We have a planned total production volume of 257,000 vehicles within seven years. 

Vehicle homologation always takes place shortly before the start of production. The vehicles from pre-series production must be used for the process. All requirements and tests for vehicle homologation are considered and carried out during development.

Details about our current development status can be found here.

Payment / Delivery

Preorders

First, you carry out a reservation to purchase the Sion. Here you have a two-week right of withdrawal. In the second step, we offer you a purchase contract in the end of 2022. Here, too, a two-week right of revocation and withdrawal applies. You have the possibility to pick up your Sion directly at the factory in Trollhättan. In addition, we are working on a completely new delivery concept. For an extra charge, it will also be possible to deliver your Sion to your desired location.

After your reservation you will receive a payment link from us. After the payment you will receive a payment confirmation and you will automatically be on the waiting list.

Your reservation is a purchase option. At a later date you will receive the purchase contract from us. You can then sign it and purchase the Sion or have your deposit refunded.

The Sion costs 25,500 euros including German VAT at market launch.

The basic price for the vehicle is 16,000 euros plus the cost of the battery. We’re planning to offer the battery at a one-time purchase price as well as with the option of renting or leasing it. The reason for excluding the battery from the price is that we want to always offer the most up-to-date price. We expect the price to be around 9,500 euros. We will calculate the final price for the battery based on the market rates for battery cells at the time of production.

The following applies to all persons preordering the Sion: you’ll receive a purchase offer for the Sion before delivery commences and you’ll, again, have the option of either purchasing the Sion and signing the contract or opting for a refund of your down payment.

The rights provided under German law for terminating contracts still apply.

Germany’s regular statutory provisions for warranties apply. On top of that, Sono Motors is providing a warranty for the Sion of probably two years or 100,000 kilometers as well as a warranty for the battery of two years, 100,000 kilometers or 2,000 charge cycles.

Delivery

The COVID-19 global pandemic has had an impact across the automotive and technology sector, including Sono Motors and its suppliers. Components were delayed, and so was our last funding round, which we successfully closed in December 2020. In response, we decided to prioritise the timely delivery and development of the second prototype. With this strategy, we have been able to continue our technology development through the crisis and take these headwinds in stride. However, based on our proactive steps taken to manage the challenges of COVID-19, we must adjust our development timeline accordingly and shift the expected start of production to H1 2023.

We are planning to produce and deliver all reservations as of today in 2023 (12,800) and expect our production capabilities to exceed this figure.

During the first stage, you can preorder and make a down payment on a Sion. It comes with a two-week reflection period. In the second stage, in 2022 we will offer you a contract to purchase a Sion. Again, you’ll have a two-week reflection period, during which you can cancel the contract. You have the possibility to pick up your Sion directly at the plant in Trollhättan. Additionally, we are working on an entirely new delivery concept. For an extra charge it will probably be possible to deliver your Sion to your desired location as well.

Funding

General

Sono Motors is funded by the community and by investors who share Sono Motors' sustainable vision and values.

You can support us by reserving a Sion. If you've already done this, you can of course also increase your deposit. You can also support us by spreading the word. Maybe someone you know could also be interested in a Sion?

Increase Down Payment

You can increase your down payment in your personal Sono Account. Please enter the email address that you used when you made the reservation. Immediately after, you will receive an email from us with which you can log in. Should you have not received an email, please also check your spam folder and verify that the spelling of your email address was correct.

Preorder

Since the launch of our Community Funding Campaign, we have stopped the referral program. All granted discounts will remain valid.

We plan to send out purchase contracts by the end of 2022. All our terms and conditions apply.

Profit Sharing

We represent a new entrepreneurial spirit that sees itself as responsible towards society and remains committed to its own values. Together, with you, we will bring the Sion onto the streets and make a difference. The down payment every Sion reservation holder makes contributes significantly to our common goal. Sono Points have been awarded for full price down payments on a Sion. Sono Points are intended to provide their owners with the potential to share in future financial benefits enjoyed by our founders. The more Sono Points one holds, the greater the share of the total pool, and therefore the potential pay-out.

The amount of points is significantly influenced by your deposit amount:

  • For all reservations before 01/12/2019: at least 1 Sono Point automatically, in addition to:
  • deposit of €9,000: 1 Sono Point
  • deposit of €16,000: 2 Sono Points
  • deposit of €25,500: 3 Sono Points
  • Exclusive bonus for the first 500 full price customers: a total of 4 Sono Points
  • From 21/01/2020: 1 Sono Point with full price down payment
     

No, there is no personal liability through Sono Points. Specifically, Sono Points are so-called "profit participation rights", which do not contain any liability characteristics for you personally. You have no financial obligation at all. However, it is to be assumed that in the event of a profit distribution, taxes may be payable on said profits.

Unfortunately, we are not allowed to provide tax advice. However, it is likely that, in the event of a distribution of profits, taxes may be payable on said profits. In concrete terms, this means that only in the event of you receiving money from us, will a possibility of tax payment arise. However, please clarify this in detail with your tax advisor.

Yes, the financing of Sono Motors is not affected by the issue of profit participation rights, which are privately owned by the founders. Usually, new shares are created with each new round of financing – a so-called capital increase. The capital increase "dilutes" the shares of all previous shareholders. However, this capital increase can occur independently of the profit subscription rights that go to the community. This means that profit subscription rights transferred will also "dilute", i.e. their percentage share of later distributions will be smaller. However, as a rule, the financial resources of the company improve with each further round of financing. This increases the chances of faster implementation of our corporate strategy, which then also makes distributions from profit subscription rights more likely.

No, you receive the Sono Points (profit participation rights) as a personal thank you for your reservation are yours and are therefore bound to you as a person and cannot be traded. If you cancel your reservation before commencement of production, your Sono points will be forfeited.

Through their down payment, each Sion reservation holder makes a significant contribution to our common goal. As a thank you, our founders gave their then dividend participation rights in Sono Motors GmbH in full to a collective pool, from which the Sono Points are awarded. Sono Motors GmbH is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Sono Group N.V. Founders’ shares carry voting rights and also grant dividend rights. In the case of Sono Motors, the founders have transferred their shares into the collective pool and to others. You can view your current score at any time in your Sono Account.