Sono designs Sion solar EV as a mobile home power bank


Munich-based Sono Motors, which is working to market its solar-powered Sion electric car for Europe, revealed last week that it is developing its own AC wallbox that will allow the car to be used. as a mobile power bank or external home. Energy storage.

While most of the other units of this type use the DC fast charging connector, the Sion unit will be an AC unit, using the standard type 2 (level 2) connector at an output of up to 11kw. He indicates that the solution will be up to 70% cheaper than DC units, with the PA unit priced in the “low 4-digit euro range”.

These cost savings are possible through the design of the Zion, according to the company, as it includes the means of DC / AC conversion in the vehicle itself. Using the Sion for home energy storage will require an additional home energy management system, Sono says, and compatibility information will be available soon after launch. The company claims that its wallbox was designed with the German manufacturer Kostal.

Sono Motors in charge

Sono also revealed a bit more information about the Sion’s carrying capacity. According to the company, the electric vehicle’s 54kWh lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery can be charged with the wallbox in five hours, or with 75kW CCS DC quick charge, it can reach 80% in about 35 minutes.

The company stresses that it will offer owners a lot of flexibility. For example, electricity from the car’s solar cells could go to the car’s battery during the day, and then be used to power the house at night. Tillman says that “excess electricity from a rooftop photovoltaic system that cannot be consumed in the house can be temporarily stored in the vehicle’s battery.”

Initially, the focus of such a device will be on vehicle-to-home (V2H) functionality, but future applications, once the company can overcome future legal hurdles, could help cushion peak loads. via vehicle-to-grid uses (V2G).

“As a user, you can simply use the PA app to define how much of the battery you want to use to power the building and how much time you need for the next morning,” explained product manager Julius Tillman in a recent blog post of the company.

Sono Motors wall box designs

Sono Motors wall box designs

The company says the wallbox will be available when Sion begins production in spring 2023, and the reservation holder community will help them choose between three potential designs.

The Zion promises to be different from other cars that incorporate solar cells, as it doesn’t essentially build them on the same plane but in transparent polymer body panels. This has required some innovation in connecting and integrating cells that will produce very different power levels at any given time. The company claimed it would be able to generate around 3,600 miles per year from the sun, which works out to a daily average of around 10 miles year round.

Placement of solar panels for electric cars Sono Sion

Placement of solar panels for electric cars Sono Sion

These aren’t the only companies that are leveraging two-way charging capability to make their electric vehicles more useful. Ford has configured its upcoming F-150 Lightning electric pickup to negotiate back-up home power. And Lucid of California said its cars will launch with two-way charging capability and be able to temporarily power the house.

City-centric Sono Sion is one of two large-scale European electric vehicle startups focused on solar energy. The other is the Lightyear One, which is to be made by Finnish Valmet and takes an aerodynamic approach that claims over 400 miles of range from a 60 kWh battery. Sono, meanwhile, estimates the range at 189 miles.

Sono Sion solar-assisted electric car

Sono Sion solar-assisted electric car

Sono is an independent start-up automaker that is backed by a mix of private funding and crowdfunding. He intends to assemble the Sion in Trollhättan, Sweden, in the former Saab factory, now majority-owned by the Chinese group Evergrande. Sono still doesn’t have plans for the US market, but don’t rule out that possibility entirely.

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