Sono Motors designer discusses solar EV


Car Design News chats to Martin Schopka of Sono Motors about the Sion EV and how engineering needs influenced its design

In October, solar-vehicle company Sono Motors embarked on a cross-country tour of the US to show off its ‘affordable’ solar EV, the Sion. The company says it already has more than 40,000 reservations and pre-orders, and the car is expected to retail at a price of US$25,000. This five-seat hatchback carries the shape of a minivan and is quite unique, with solar panels integrated directly into the body to improve its electric driving range.  

First revealed as a prototype in 2017, the Sion has gradually moved closer to production readiness and was given its final design reveal in July this year. The exterior has been cleaned up, with fewer lines and smoother surfaces. At first glance, it simply looks like it has been given a matte black wrap – there is no obvious network of gloss black panels you might see on a solar roof. Mover closer and the solar panels become more obvious, particularly on the roof, bonnet and around the shoulder line.

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