• World Biz Magazine

SONO MOTORS (GERMANY'S ANSWER TO TESLA) INTRODUCES THE CAR THAT CHARGES ITSELF



Led by co-CEOs Jona Christians and Laurin Hahn, the company is on a pioneering mission to accelerate the revolution of mobility by making every vehicle solar.

Sono Motors (NASDAQ: SEV) is a highly talked about German company that has generated major excitement in the global automotive industry. Led by co-CEOs Jona Christians and Laurin Hahn, the company is on a pioneering mission to accelerate the revolution of mobility by making every vehicle solar.


Its disruptive solar technology has been developed to enable seamless integration into all types of vehicles to reduce the impact of CO2 emissions and pave the way for climate-friendly mobility. Sono Motors is developing the world’s first solar electric vehicle (SEV) for the masses, the Sion.


What Does the Mobility of the Future Look Like?


This is the question the Sono Motors founding team asked themselves when they set out to revolutionise mobility. They set out to improve how people and things are moved, with the core focus of making transport more sustainable in the interest of the planet and its inhabitants. The answer they have given to the world is The Sion, an electric car that charges itself, shares energy and can be shared on a large scale. Sono Motors' experienced team of engineers, designers, technicians, and industry experts are currently developing and building the car of the future for use in our current times.



The Sion charges itself. It is an electric vehicle that generates additional range through the power of the sun. Combined with the Intelligent Mobility Services provided by Sono Motors, it is clear this could be a game-changing contribution to a climate friendly future.

According to Sono Motors: "We are currently on the way to series production of the Sion. The Sion is our very first step into the future of smart, climate-friendly and sustainable mobility. Our goal is to establish large scale smart e-mobility and sharing thereby make a significant contribution to the reduction of global CO2 emissions. In order to protect our planet‘s resources and the environment, worldwide annual vehicle production volumes must be significantly and permanently reduced. This vision can only be implemented through affordable resource conservational, intelligent mobility concepts. The Sion is the dawn of the future of mobility."


The Sion charges itself. It is an electric vehicle that generates additional range through the power of the sun. Combined with the Intelligent Mobility Services provided by Sono Motors, it is clear this could be a game-changing contribution to a climate friendly future.



"Modern design meets full solar integration, designed to take advantage of every ray of sunlight." - Sono Motors

Exterior - solar instead of paint


The Sion's entire bodywork an energy collector. Its hood, fenders, sides, roof, and rear of the vehicle are integrated seamlessly with solar cells that blend both visually and physically into the car‘s body. The Sion is an SEV, a Solar Electric Vehicle, whose battery is able to generate energy from the power of the sun.


Sono Motors projects that under ideal conditions, the Sion will deliver 112 km on average (up to 245 km max.) additional range per week can be achieved with pure solar energy — CO2 neutral and completely free of charge. This means full self-sufficiency on short trips. For solar integration, Sono Motors uses monocrystalline silicon cells that produce energy even under cloudy skies or in the shade.



Essentially the Sion is a solar power plant with a built in charging station that can power all common electronic devices (up tp 3.7 kW) and other electric vehicles (up to 11 kW).

Bidirectional Charging - a solar power plant


The innovative Sono Solar technology enables the Sion to not only draw and store energy for its movement but also to share it with others. Essentially the Sion is a solar power plant with a built in charging station that can power all common electronic devices (up tp 3.7 kW) and other electric vehicles (up to 11 kW). This opens up a liberating world of possibilities for lowering energy costs, peace of mind, reduced hassle, and most important of all - it is an excellent climate friendly solution.



Interior - intelligently designed natural space


The Sion will come with an intuitive infotainment system, connectivity and factory integrated mobility services. It can all be easily controlled centrally via the 10-inch touch display. An additional display in the vehicle’s cockpit provides easily accessible central information, such as the solar range and speed. There is a special touch in the Sion's interior, the Sono Motors team have added an innovative design highlight which is integrated moss. Not kidding! The Sion has its own moss garden, a wonderful natural element that contributes to a pleasant ambience and a reminder to embrace well being. Another nice touch is the Sion's individually adjustable ambient interior color lighting system.



Sono App


Sono Motors provides an extensive suite of well designed services to enhance the user experience of the Sion, as can be expected they are all designed with intelligent mobility and sustainability at front of mind. The Sono App empowers your smartphone to become a control hub where you can share your Sion, electricity, and even a ride. The Sono app is also a digital key for the Sion (it also comes with physical car keys) and provides a dashboard for real-time vehicle data. The Vehicle Connectivity Module controls every aspect from the vehicle‘s data connection to the automatic emergency call service (eCall).


The Sion is a available for preorder at a cost of €28,500 for a limited time. Empowered by a strong community, Sono Motors has amassed more than 16,800 reservations with advance payments for the Sion. These vehicles will be produced through contract manufacturing.



Sono Motors - Business Highlights


Every journey has its beginning, and journeys, by nature, rarely go the way you plan them but in the case of Sono Motors the success of their journey has far exceeded their expectations. Sono Motors has created a car that stands out in an increasingly crowded 'future oriented mobility space'. That would be a great achievement on its own but this startup has been busy energetically ticking off one win after another.


Sono Motors' proprietary solar technology has also been engineered to enable integration and licensing for a wide range of vehicle architectures that go far beyond the Sion, such as buses, trailers, trucks, camper vans, trains and boats.


Over the last 12 months Sono Motors has achieved the following:

  • Grew its B2B solar integration client base, with more contracts and offers from various OEMs and fleet owners across various transportation sectors. In Q4 2021, Sono Motors delivered its first solar-powered light-electric vehicle prototype to ARI Motors and installed the first RV solar retrofit for a client in the U.S.

  • Opened its dedicated development center for the B2B solar business. Specialists use bespoke equipment and test facilities to enhance speed for all solar projects.

  • Launched Gen 2 prototypes at CES and used those vehicles for intensive development, the completion of first winter & summer tests, continued engineering and over 1,000 customer test drives, bringing the total test drive number to more than 18,000 customers so far.

  • The vast majority of Sion sourcing decisions were made by year-end 2021.

  • The launch of the Sono app on 6 December 2021 enabled Sono Motors to expand its app beyond the Sion. The aim is to gather more data and customer feedback for incremental development of the service. Sono Motors provides an in-app booking and payment system as well as additional insurance if required. The app allows users in Germany to share their car - not just the Sion - via community car sharing with friends, family, and neighbors.

  • By the end of 2021, 231 people of over 30 different nationalities were employed at Sono Motors. This represents an approximate team size increase of 120% over the year. This number increased to 267 people by the end of Q1 2022.

  • Sono Motors delivered its innovative solar technology to several customers including Munich’s public transport provider MVG. Sono Motors' solar bus retrofit solution can reduce local CO2 emissions by over 6.5 metric tons per year, per vehicle. Further benefits include fuel savings of up to 2,500 liters of diesel per vehicle, per year, the stabilization of energy supply, the extension of the 24V battery life, and reduced maintenance costs.

  • Increased solar integration B2B partner arrangements to 17 by 31 March 2022, compared to 2 at the start of 2021.

  • Signed binding term sheet with Valmet Automotive as an experienced contract manufacturer for the Sion. As of Q1 2022, Valmet Automotive has produced over 1.7 million cars for brands like Mercedes, Porsche, and SAAB. Valmet Automotive will build the Sion at its plant in Uusikaupunki, Finland, and will provide the capacity to produce 257,000 vehicles over a seven-year period.

  • Build of a fleet of 37 series-validation vehicles and Bodies in White is currently underway, ushering in the Sion's testing program. These cars consist of series components and correspond to the planned final design. This was established in Q1 2022, alongside completing the 2nd generation prototype program, as well as the accompanying definition of components and vehicle parameters. The fleet will be used for series validation, optimization, homologation, and crash tests.

  • Significant progress has been made on Sion’s User Interface and User Experience Design (UI/UX) by integrating payment processes, insurance booking and Salesforce, Google, and SAP within the backend infrastructure for a fully digital customer experience.

  • ESG activities include progress towards offsetting activity-based value chain emissions, and participation in the Time for Climate Action campaign prior to Earth Day on 22 April 2022, and first full year (2021) of operations with first local impacts within the Fair Cobalt Association.

“We have achieved major milestones on our growth path. We’re scaling up our Sono Solar business, have delivered several products to B2B customers in the last months, and thus generated first revenues. Our proprietary solar technology is already contributing to climate protection and the reduction of CO2 emissions on Munich public transport and supporting the city’s clean air targets. These examples showcase our plan to diversify our business by establishing our B2B solar business as a strategic pillar, equal to our solar electric vehicle, the Sion,” states Laurin Hahn, CEO and co-founder of Sono Motors.


“This year we also have a clear focus on enhancing the quality, testing, and speed of the Sion program. We are now well into the series-validation phase and progressing with vehicle testing and certification. Our collaborative working with our new contract manufacturer positions us well to keep our promise and deliver a climate-neutral Sion to our customers next year,” Hahn adds.


Judging by Sono Motor's incredible track record in just two years of operation, it is a good bet that the company's ambitious drive, electric dynamism and robust organising that has enabled its elevation to the premier table of global mobility innovation leadership will be reflected in commercial success. For those in doubt it would be prudent to look back at Tesla's journey - one that was punctuated with setbacks, challenges, lulls and eventually ubiquitous market dominance. Sono Motors may never reach those heights but the future feels blindingly bright for this company and its investors.