Electric vehicles are considered a step forward for humanity along with hydrogen fuel cell cars and will solar powered cars be the next innovation?
And that future is not far off. According to a German company, their solar cars will come with a release date set for 2023. While there has long been talk of powering cars with the sun, Sono Motors seems to be the closest thing to making this dream come true and most importantly at an affordable price. price point.
German car company Sono Motors plans to launch its first solar-powered commercial vehicle, the Sion, in Europe by mid-2023. The car will also be shipped to the US for sale, opening up a potential market for this vehicle in North America. In particular, the Sion costs $25,000, which is equivalent to more than 600 million.
This price makes the car significantly cheaper than many electric cars on the market. It requires 465 solar battery units and can run 120 km per week on pure solar power alone. In addition, this car is also equipped with a lithium battery for longer journeys, giving it a range of 304 km, with the possibility to charge up to 80% in 35 minutes using a fast charging station.
Sono has announced that it has received 42,000 pre-orders for the Sion in Europe and hopes to produce 257,000 units by the end of the decade.
The car company has reduced production costs by offering only a black version of the car and will further reduce costs by following the online sales model. Furthermore, the vehicle is equipped with an aluminum frame instead of steel to save costs and it does not need paint due to the spacious solar panels.
The solar panels used by Sono are polymer-based solar technology that is still under development. Managing Director Laurin Hahn explains: “We have more than 30 patents and that’s the difference. Other companies trying to integrate solar power all use primarily glass. However, glass is heavy, slow to manufacture and very expensive.”
The car will also be equipped with a dashboard app that will inform the driver about the power status and when to charge. It will also be able to charge other electrical devices, even other electric vehicles.
Mr. Hahn believes that assembling electric vehicles with solar panels will become the norm in the future, as it does not add additional costs to the production process and can diversify the car’s renewable energy sources.
Sono is not the only company hoping to power cars on solar energy, as several companies around the world have already released prototypes and vehicles that can use solar energy. In June of this year, the Dutch start-up Lightyear announced the Lightyear 0 vehicle, equipped with 5 m² of solar panels on the roof, a hood and a starter for extra charging while driving. The vehicle can be powered at a traditional electric vehicle charging station and receive additional energy from the sun, with a range of up to 64 km per day and a range of 620 km with traditional charging. Lightyear expects the car’s retail price to be around $247,000, nearly 10 times more expensive than the Sion’s retail price.
“Through Lightyear 0, we are offering a new future for drivers who want the freedom to move with the peace of mind of renewable energy, and that future starts now,” the company said. This flagship solar vehicle is expected to go into production later this year.”
In October, a group of students from Eindhoven University of Technology produced their car called Zem, a car that can extract carbon from the air while driving. Vehicles are equipped with a carbon capture device that absorbs and stores more CO2 than it emits. It is also equipped with solar panels and electric batteries. While this kind of automotive technology took a little longer to reach the market, the students showed the potential to combine electric batteries, solar panels and carbon capture technology to improve efficiency and reduce environmental impact by not relying solely on lithium batteries.
While no fully solar-powered car has yet to hit the market, there are good hopes for integrating solar technology into traditional electric vehicles to extend range and complement renewable energy charging capabilities. As innovation in solar panel technology continues, the potential for using energy from the sun to power vehicles, with commercial services, is likely not far away.
That reports Sonoautos.com