After a year of development, Sono Motors is setting an important milestone towards series production. The founders of Sono Motors announced this to their reservation holders and supporters in a live stream held on Thursday, December 10. The new generation of prototypes will be unveiled at one of the world’s largest technology trade shows, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
Munich, December 11, 2020 – Solar mobility provider Sono Motors announced the launch of the new prototype generation of its solar electric car, the Sion. The company held a live online session for their reservation holders and other supporters. The development of the vehicles was funded by one of Europe’s largest crowdfunding campaigns, which the company successfully carried out in January 2020. Backed up by new financial resources and the support of the community, Sono Motors started the new prototype project at the beginning of 2020.
Within one year, the company built the next prototype generation of the Sion. This new prototype demonstrates the progress the company has made in terms of development during a time of global transformation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. “For the first time, we integrated parts in a prototype that will also be installed in the series vehicle.” says Denis Azhar, Sion Group Lead at Sono Motors. “The successful assembly is the result of strong partnerships with suppliers and employees from the facility in Roding.” By manufacturing these prototypes, Sono Motors is taking another major step towards series production.
A Clear Vision and Agile Mindset During the Pandemic
The construction phase of the prototypes coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic that affected the entire automotive industry. Only a few weeks into Sono Motors’ newly funded project, the company had to adapt its processes in line with the unprecedented situation.
By keeping its vision clear and collaborating in agile structures, the Sono Motors team was able to adapt and continue its work.
It spent the year relentlessly working to achieve the planned milestones for its second prototype in 2020: the program restart in spring, CAD handover in summer, and the completion of the second prototype generation in winter.
Cofounder and CEO of Sono Motors Laurin Hahn says: “Our work reality has changed completely due to COVID-19 but our vision has not. In the midst of a global health and economic crisis, we have focused even more on our vision – determined to alleviate another global crisis, global warming.” “The successful completion of the crowdfunding campaign has made us aware once again that we have created an unstoppable movement that people are willing to support with compassion and confidence. This gave us the energy to continue our work more committed than ever,” adds cofounder and CEO Jona Christians.
The CES – Stage for Innovative Technology
The founders stated that this next generation of prototype vehicles will be released to the public at the CES, one of the world’s largest and most important trade fairs for representatives of the electronics industry.
For more than 50 years, the CES has been the global platform for numerous innovations from the tech industry. As an innovative company, Sono Motors wants to harness the international attention of the trade show in order to present its technology to a wider audience and get feedback.
In 2021, the CES will be completely digital for the first time. This new setup will allow the exhibitors and visitors to attend safely within the context of the COVID-19 measures. The CES will take place from January 11 to 14, 2021.
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Sono Motors is on a mission to enable a revolutionary mobility system, where every electric vehicle is solar, shared, and independent from fossil-fuels. Today, an experienced specialist team is developing a forward-looking electric car that is suitable for daily use, the Sion. Both the Sion’s integrated solar technology and innovative mobility services will enable users to access clean mobility, harness solar energy and reduce CO2 impacts.
Sono Motors was founded in 2016 and has rapidly grown to more than 140 employees today. The team combines a range of burgeoning global talent with industry veterans, including former employees from BMW, Nissan, Chrysler, Daimler, Audi, Mozilla, Sixt, FlixBus and mytaxi. Since its foundation, the company has raised approximately € 100M through reservations and funding. The company released its first generation Sion prototype in 2017 and has amassed 13,000 reservations with advance payments. In 2018, Sono Motors was recognized as a Solar Impulse Foundation by the Solar Impulse Foundation. In January of 2020, Sono Motors successfully closed one of the largest community crowdfunding campaigns in Europe.
Sono Motors’ Sion intends to blend disruptive technology with affordability to enable individual contribution to global sustainability. The Sono solar technology replaces traditional paint with proprietary integrated solar panels that can form to various applications. Additionally, the Sion’s solar panels can add up to 245 km or 152 mi (112 km or 70mi on average) of additional driving range per week to the car’s battery. The Sion is expected to have the lowest TCO (total cost of ownership) in its category at the start of production, which is scheduled for the first half of 2023.