Sono Motors has moved one phase closer to production of its Sion Solar Electric Vehicle (SEV), as it has completed its prototype phases and has begun building series-validation vehicles for testing and certification. The startup plans to build 37 validation SEVs that will be built with white bodies instead of the usual black exterior we have grown accustomed to, as the Sion has progressed.
Sono Motors is a German startup founded in 2016 that specializes in SEVs that can garner additional clean energy from the sun. By integrating proprietary solar panels into the exterior of its Sion, Sono Motor’s flagship SEV is able to gain 70-150 miles of additional range per week from the sun alone.
Last September, we reported that Sono Motors had surpassed 14,000 reservations for the Sion, equating to over $350 million in net revenue. That milestone was soon joined by even bigger news that Sono had registered for a proposed IPO to list on the Nasdaq as “$SEV.“
A month later, Sono announced an additional 1,000 reservations totaling $385 million, plus an imminent price increase of €2,500. At the time, we were awaiting the production of Sono Motors’s third generation Sion, which we’ve now learned has begun ahead of testing and certification this year.
Sono Motors’ Sion production on track for 2023
The German SEV automaker shared its latest update to the Sion’s progress in a press release, outlining some of the details of this latest series-validation phase. It will consist of building 37 Sion SEVs – 16 complete cars and 21 test structures.
The Sion’s components, parameters, and overall design were all finalized at the beginning of 2022 and will be present in the third generation validation SEVs. According to Sono Motors, the final design of the Sion will not be publicly unveiled until this summer.
Another interesting design choice is Sono’s decision to build all of its series-validation SEVs in white bodies, a pivot from the all black exterior we’ve always seen. Whether this is a validation and testing technique, or whether white will become a design option for consumers remains unclear at this time, although we have requested clarification.
Sono Motors’ production of the 37 validation vehicles will be assisted by thyssenkrupp Automotive Body Solutions and Betrandt. The former is responsible for the production of the aluminum space frame, while the latter will handle the assembly of the test fleet in Munich. CTO of Sono Motors, Markus Volmer, spoke:
Both partners have not only extensive expertise in automotive engineering but also the necessary infrastructure and capacity to produce our test cars quickly and with high quality. Thus, we are on track for the Sion testing.
Following validation series production, Sono Motors says the 3rd generation Sions will undergo vigorous tests under extreme conditions in Europe and the US, including testing in different climates, optimizing Sono’s solar technology and safeguarding. Lastly, the test vehicles will be used to refine driving dynamics on test tracks and public roads, followed by crash tests.
Although the Sions will be tested in the US, they are currently only available in EU countries such as Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Portugal. The Sion remains available for preorder and on track for first deliveries in 2023.
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