transport

The world’s first solar car is on its way

Two years ago I wrote about the possibilities of a self-charging solar car, and wondered how long it would be before such a thing was available. Six months later a start-up company in Germany unveiled the Sion, an affordable electric car covered in solar panels and that could do an average of 30 kilometers a day without ever needing to be plugged in.

It’s a story I’ve been following, and I was pleased to see The Fully Charged Show cover it recently, taking the prototype for a test drive and asking lots of questions.

As a company with a social  mission, there are some unusual features to the Sion that I was interested to hear about. For one thing, it’s designed for car sharing as standard. You can have your own if you wish, but they will all come with the features of a car-share. You can leave yours on your driveway and let your friends borrow it, unlocking it through an app. Or there’s the innovative idea for small spare parts. If someone hits your wing mirror and breaks the cover, you’ll be able to download the instructions and 3-D print a new one.

There’s more detail on the Sono website, including plenty of progress since the video was made. I’ll keep an eye on this one, as getting the car through manufacturing and creating service networks is a major challenge for new car companies. But if they can make it work, there’s a good chance that the Sion will be the most sustainable car ever made.

4 comments

    1. Affordable is relative I guess – I can’t afford one. What I mean its that it’s priced towards normal consumers rather than the high end of the market. A pre-order costs €25,500, which puts it alongside the Nissan Leaf or electric VW Golf, rather than a Tesla or Jaguar I-Pace.

      When you consider that day to day casual use could be free if it’s solar powered, that’s not bad value.

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