Sono takes Sion Solar EV on tour in the United States as part of an offer for fleet activities

Sono Motors is bringing its Sion solar-powered EV to the United States, but it’s unclear whether the small hatchback will be sold here to retail customers.

The Sion was on display in New York’s Times Square on Tuesday, followed by a stop in Brooklyn on Wednesday on what will be a multi-city tour, Sono said in a press release. The car will also be shown in Boston, Detroit, San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles on various dates through the end of the month.

Production of Sion is expected to start in the second half of 2023 at contractor Valmet’s plant in Finland. Sono claims to have reached 20,000 reservations for the car in Europe, where it is expected to start at the equivalent of $25,000.

Sono Zion in Times Square

However, the company has suggested that the Sion was developed solely with European regulations in mind and is not discussing firm plans to sell it to retail customers in the United States. Instead, Sono’s exit implies that Sion’s US tour is aimed at boosting Fleet business.

Along with the 20,000 retail reservations, Sono says it has 12,000 pre-orders from fleet operators, including 12,000 from car subscription service Finn, which the company says operates in both Germany and the United States.

In addition to the Sion, Sono has developed a toolkit that allows diesel trucks and buses to be fitted with solar panels to run things like air conditioners and refrigeration units.

Sono Sion and other vehicles equipped with Sono solar panels

Sono Sion and other vehicles equipped with Sono solar panels

“In addition to our plans to begin delivering Sion to the European market next year, we are actively evaluating U.S. partnership opportunities while expanding our portfolio of integrated solar solutions for fleet operators,” said Sono’s CEO. , Laurin Hahn, in a statement, adding that companies in Europe and the United States are using or piloting Sono’s technology.

What sets the Sion apart from most other electric vehicles is that it was designed to use every body panel as a solar panel. The body is covered with 456 solar cells, which help charge a 54 kWh lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery. The pack can also be conventionally charged up to 75kw with a DC fast charger or 11kw with a Level 2 AC charger.

The solar cells can extend Sion’s estimated 190-mile range by 70 miles per week in average weather, or up to 152 miles per week in optimal weather conditions. Bi-directional charging also allows the Sion to serve as a mobile power bank or external home energy storage by discharging power up to 11kw.

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