Here's the latest news from the Sion's development

By Julius

6th October 2021

Five of our development team experts gave you an update last week with regards to the Sion’s development status. Our CTO Markus Vollmer, Infotainment Director Mitchell Zarders, Serhan Sezer, responsible for crash & safety, Bene Zeilberger for the thermal system, and Leonhard Saibel, Automotive Body Senior Manager. The evening’s overarching topic was the design release. We’ve summarized the most important points from the hour-long livestream for you here.

1. Development Update - Where Are We and What’s New?   

Right at the beginning, Markus made a pivotal point clear. Namely, that the date for the start of production will remain, as previously communicated, as the first half of 2023. We are currently making great strides towards the next prototype generation which will be much more sophisticated than the current 2nd generation. It will also provide us with insights into areas, like validation, that we still need to fine tune. At this stage, we are so far advanced in development that no more fundamental changes will be made. We’re still balancing things out and have already begun ordering components in parallel. At the end of the current phase we will ensure production feasibility of the various components - in other words, every part installed in the vehicle can be manufactured and assembled in the same way.

Unfortunately, we were unable to release all components by 10 September, as we had originally planned. This is due to various factors. One of the most decisive is the new battery, which required some installation space and other interface adjustments. Another reason is supplier negotiations, which have still to be finalized. We remain, unfortunately, dependent on external factors.

Nevertheless, we have made great progress in the past months and will complete component release by December 2021. In the first half of 2022, 11 3rd generation prototypes should be available for testing. Finally, we would like to once again emphasize that NEVS remains our production partner for the Sion. All Sion reserved so far will be produced in 2023.

The next steps in the Sion's development
The next steps in the Sion's development

2. Infotainment

Mitchell then presented various updates regarding the Sion’s infotainment system. All critical components were successfully approved. The necessary parts for the test bench will be delivered on time for 1 December. Thus, all necessary components for the LabCar, i.e. the simulation model, will also be available.

We are currently in the process of expanding the infotainment team in both software and hardware. One current risk, however, is the global chip crisis, which could have an effect on our purchasing. We try to work around this as much as possible by ordering necessary parts as early as possible. Mitchell also presented the exact infotainment system specifications.

Overview of the infotainment system specifications
Overview of the infotainment system specifications

3. The Body

As far as the body is concerned, Leonhard provided some information for us. The SVC3 3D data will be released as early as this calendar week. The feasibility of the individual parts has been tested and, through various optimization processes, he and his team have been able to successfully reduce weight.

Further optimization processes are still currently pending with regard to crash safety performance. A small drawback comes in the form of the concept for roof module fastening and the sun visor have yet to receive final approval. Supplier negotiations are still pending. This will, of course, be completed by the end of the current development phase at the beginning of December.

4. Crash & Safety

There have also been some developments in the area of crash & safety. One highlight is that so far, the crash simulations have delivered good to very good results. Serhan and his team have successfully adapted the crash targets to the new HV battery as well as carried out low-speed damage risk assessments. This point plays a particularly important part in the insurance rating.

As you already know, the vehicle is now 16 cm longer post revision. On the one hand this accounts for a longer crumple zone and on the other more space for additional hardware. One challenge here is to correctly meet the charging system requirements. In addition, we unfortunately haven’t yet been able to carry out any physical testing- That being said the simulations are incredibly informative for development.

5. The Thermal System

Benne mentions the thermal system’s biggest advantage right at the start. We are able to use a lot of transfer parts here which helps us to ease time pressure with regard to development. The suppliers we have selected are ready for the SVC3 and the current system design is both manufacturable and approved. The larger HV battery also increases the workload in this area, but this is being successfully managed with the help of new colleagues.

One current area of construction lies with the coolant level sensor which doesn’t quite work yet. Therefore, we’re not yet able to read when the coolant needs topping up. We’ll definitely get a handle on this by the time of the series release. This aspect is, however, not critical for the SVC3. For all those who are not yet completely familiar with the current specifications, Bene has created an informative overview.

The Sion's thermal system
The Sion's thermal system

In addition to the points listed here, my colleagues of course discussed and presented numerous other things. We also took a lot of time for questions from our Community. So, if you’ve had a burning question about development you’ve been holding on to for a while, you might find what you were looking for in the final third of the stream.

You can find the complete recording of the livestream on our ‘Sono Motors Community’ Youtube channel. We’re already looking forward to the next round with you!

This article was translated by Lucy Kirmond. 

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