Frequently Asked Questions

Below we’ve put together the most important information regarding Sono Motors and the Sion. At the moment we’re preparing the series production of the Sion. We ask for your understanding that technical details may still be subject to change. You can catch up on the latest news in our newsletter – feel free to subscribe here.

Top Three

The Sion is the first series-produced car that can additionally charge its battery using solar power. Thus, we introduce a new vehicle class: SEV – Solar Electric Vehicle.

The car's roof, the hood and entire body are completely clad with monocrystalline silicon cells, which are well protected by polymer. We call this system viSono. Thanks to the bidirectional charging functionality - biSono - you can also share the energy stored in your Sion, for example to power electronic devices or even charge another electric car. An organic moss filter - breSono - controls the humidity in the cabin and filters out particulate matter.

The Sion is a family-friendly all-rounder. Five doors, five seats (2+3), ISOFIX connectors and a generously sized trunk make for plenty of space. A powerful electric engine enables a maximum speed of 140 km/h. The optional tow bar allows a load of maximum 750 kilograms.

The Sion has a range of 255 kilometers according to WLTP standard. The integrated rapid charging system means you can also cover longer distances trouble-free. With a charging capacity of up to 50 kW DC, you can charge the battery up to 80% in just 30 minutes. At home you can charge the battery using a regular household socket. However, we do recommend installing a ‘wallbox’. You can find more information about the charging system under Charging.

You can preorder your Sion directly on our Web site. Simply select the down payment you want to make, save your personal details, and take your pick of five payment methods (PayPal, credit card, regular bank transfer, Giropay, or Sofortüberweisung instant transfer). 

As soon as you’ve paid for your Sion, you’ll get a confirmation e-mail and a spot on the waiting list. Production is expected to commence toward the second half of 2020. The amount of your down payment will not affect your position on the waiting list, as spots are given based purely on when the preorders are received. 

Your preorder will be seen legally as a purchase option, which means that it is nonbinding. This also means that you’ll have another chance before delivery commences to decide whether to purchase the Sion and sign the contract or get a refund of your down payment.

We’re pursuing a single-product strategy with the Sion. We’re doing this so we can meet extremely high quality and safety standards while at the same time making logistics as efficient as possible. However, this also means that the Sion will, for the time being, only be available in one model. 

In addition, we are putting an increased emphasis on carry-over parts already tested for safety and quality. This saves us time and unnecessary expense during development and production. In turn, we can instead use the car development process to concentrate on features that make the Sion stand apart from other vehicles. We pass these savings on to you through the price we charge. 

Furthermore, the Sion doesn’t require a paint job due to the integration of solar cells. That means we can save on the expense associated with a costly, environmentally harmful paint shop during production. The basic price for the vehicle is 16,000 euros plus the cost of the battery, which we expect to be around 9,500 euros. We’re planning to offer the battery at a one-time purchase price as well as with the option of renting or leasing it. The reason for excluding the battery from the price is that we want to always offer the most up-to-date price. We will calculate the final price for the battery based on the market rates for battery cells at the time of production.

General

Sion

Our prototypes are already similar to the end product in terms of design, construction and features. In the course of series development, the vehicle concept was optimized and the technical equipment adapted. For example, the all-round visibility was improved, the interior revised and viSono fully integrated into the body of the Sion.

We’re not expecting to have a right-hand drive version of the Sion on offer during the initial production cycle. Depending on demand and the Sion’s success, we may potentially manufacture a right-hand drive model in the future.

The Sion is expected to weigh 1.4 tonnes, including battery. We’ll announce the final details as soon as they become clear during our preparations for series production.

The Sion’s towing capacity will be 750 kilograms unbraked.

We’re pursuing a single-product strategy with the Sion. That means we’re only offering one configuration at present. When it enters series production, however, you’ll be able to install a tow bar on the Sion. We’ll offer this as an aftersales accessory that you can attach yourself.

The Sion will only be offered in black, in keeping with our single-product strategy. We let the community take the decision on the car’s color a few months ago as part of an official community poll.

Following the introduction of automatic emergency dialling (eCall) across all of Europe, every new vehicle in Europe must from 2018 onwards possess an integrated SIM card that is connected to the Internet and meets ECE homologation specifications. In the event of an accident, which we sincerely hope doesn’t occur, an emergency call will automatically be placed. The eCall is being implemented with the aim of significantly increasing the chances of survival of vehicle occupants who sustain major injuries.

The Sion uses this Internet connection to provide additional information (goSono app) and functionality (carSharing, rideSharing and powerSharing). It goes without saying that the protection of your personal data is just as important to us as it is to you.

Charging

It’s easy to charge electric cars. For your Sion there are three methods to choose from, among the following plug types:

CCS plug: can be found at rapid charging stations for charging with up to 50 kW (DC).

Type 2 plug: can be found at all common charging stations for charging with up to 11 kW (AC) and output (bidirectional charging): 11 kW (AC).

Household plug (SchuKo): for charging with what we expect will be up to 3.7 kW (AC).

The Sion will come with a Type 2 plug and a CCS plug system. In addition, we expect that the Type 2 cable will be included for an additional fee. CCS charging cables are generally integrated into rapid charging stations.

The time taken to charge depends on the method used. The three different methods for charging the Sion are:

1. Using a household plug (SchuKo): with this plug, the time taken to fully charge a completely empty battery to 100 percent can be up to 13 hours, depending on the capacity of the socket. Perfect for charging your Sion overnight.

2. At a charging station: this method takes 2.5 hours to provide an 80 percent charge and 3.5 hours for 100 percent. Charging stations such as these are highly common, especially in inner-city areas.

3. At a rapid charging station: here your Sion will be 80 percent charged in 30 minutes, though you’ll need to allow for another 30 minutes for a 100 percent charge. Nevertheless, an 80 percent charge provides 200 kilometers range, which is often enough to cover the distance to the next rapid charging station. Rapid charging stations are now also widespread and can be found at almost all motorway rest areas and transport hubs.

Yes! Simply use the appropriate charging adapter to charge the Sion at any household power socket. However, we recommend you install a charging station (wallbox) to charge your car. This charging station adapts to the charging capacity of your electrical installation and tells your Sion the maximum current it can charge with.

The Sion system supports the following plugs: CCS, Type 2 (EN 62196) and European household plugs (SchuKo). For you to charge your Sion with your existing SAE J1772 plug, you will need to purchase an adapter.

Interior

The Sion comes featuring a big, family-friendly trunk with a volume of around 650 liters. The rear seats can be folded down to make for an even larger volume of around 1,250 liters.

Yes, the driver’s seat will be adjustable up and down as well as forwards and backwards. The car will be fitted ergonomically in line with standards (95th percentile person) commonly used in the automotive industry.

Our prototypes are already similar to the final product in terms of design, construction and features. In the course of the preparation for series production, the vehicle was optimized at various levels. In particular, the interior and the general finishing of the Sion have undergone a significant qualitative upgrade, this includes the seats.

Appropriate connectors (ISOFIX) for child safety seats are installed. The number of child safety seats possible will then of course depend on the size of those seats.

The Sion has folding rear seat backs, devided in the proportion 60/40.

The Sion will leave the factory as a five-seater. Unfortunately, it will not be possible to install extra seats.

Motor

The Sion will be equipped with front-wheel drive.

Due to our single-product strategy, we are unfortunately not offering any optional layouts for the Sion at the moment. The car will be equipped with front-wheel drive.

The Sion is, above all, designed for the everyday, urban use. Off-road use is not intended. The ground clearance is 165 millimetres, so that uneven road conditions can be mastered with the vehicle.

Battery

The Sion will have a range of 255 kilometers under the WLTP standard.

We have taken various battery sizes into consideration and opted for a battery of 35 kWh. This size is perfect for our concept with viSono, biSono and for everyday use. A battery with a larger capacity would increase the consumption of the Sion, it would require more resources in its production and increase the price.

We will offer the Sion in one variant only. This allows us to keep development processes lean and reduce costs and the use of resources. Additional battery sizes are therefore not offered. The Sion will have a battery with a capacity of 35 kWh giving you a range of 255 km according to WLTP standard.

Together with our partner ElringKlinger, we have developed a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery specifically for the Sion. Our battery consists of 192 cells. We have taken the different technologies for lithium-ion batteries into consideration and also the various possible cell formats, and opted for the prismatic cell shape. Among other advantages, it offers very good cooling characteristics. Liquid cooling allows the temperature of the battery to be precisely controlled, thus extending its lifetime.

No, we do not consider a range extender for the Sion as it would affect the vehicle's total weight, its range and price. In addition, a range extender contradicts the basic idea of Sono Motors. Our goal is to develop a forward-looking mobility concept that is independent of fossil fuels.

Together with our partner ElringKlinger we defined and developed the Sion's battery system. As a next step, we will examine the possibilities for reusing the batteries of our vehicles. We are pursuing the goal of giving our batteries a second life cycle. Ideally, this procedure allows that a battery is not recycled until it has definitely exceeded its lifespan. Car manufacturers are legally obliged to take back batteries and recycle them properly, including Sono Motors. Depending on the structure and material composition of the battery, various methods of recycling can be used. Given that we want to make our entire company as climate- and resource-friendly as possible, we take this issue very seriously and will endeavor to find the most ecological and economically sensible recycling solution possible.

Carbon offsetting

Heat radiation that is beamed from the sun to the earth is mostly absorbed by the earth’s surface. The rest of this heat is then radiated back from the earth. Greenhouse gases, such as CO₂, stop the heat radiated by the earth from being let out into space. This natural process is called the greenhouse effect.

CO₂ is created through human activity, for example through flights, driving cars, manufacturing or burning fossil fuels to produce energy.

The man-made increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere strengthens the natural greenhouse effect, causing global warming. CO₂ plays a significant role as it makes up most of the greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans.

CO₂-offsetting is an instrument to help protect the global climate: a given amount of CO₂-emissions emitted at one place in the world is prevented at another place, because in the end it is irrelevant for the planet’s atmosphere where on earth greenhouse gases are emitted, reduced or prevented. After mitigating and reducing CO₂-emissions, CO₂-offsets are an effective measure to counteract global warming.

CO₂-offsets work by upgrading and expanding renewable energies and energy-efficient technologies in developing countries to reduce or prevent the emission of gases that affect the climate.

Individuals or businesses seeking to offset their emissions identify and record them, before obtaining ‘certified emission reduction’ (CER) certificates, by making an offset payment to carbon offset providers, climate protection projects or carbon credit dealers. One certificate represents a specific, quantifiable amount (usually one ton) of CO₂ that is saved somewhere. The advantage to this principle is that emissions are saved in the Global South – where it is most economic to do so. There have to be safeguards to check that emissions are reduced on a permanent basis and that the projects are only able to be brought to fruition through the additional funding received through the offset mechanism. That is, if those units or certificates weren’t sold, the projects would be unprofitable and therefore infeasible. The term used in the industry for this core criterion is the ‘additionality’ of the emission reductions.

Various standards are used to certify climate protection projects. They differ in the demands they place on the quality and environmental impact of the project and in local, social aspects. In order to register a climate protection project for certification, there must be scientific evidence of the project preventing CO₂-emissions. Independent bodies examine and certify this preventative effect.

There are further criteria relating to duration and social impact that must be fulfilled on top of those for climate protection benefits. High-quality climate protection projects are characterised by having positive effects for the local population of a project region.

Examples of this can include access to clean energy or improvements in household income or health. The most commonly used certification standards are the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), Gold Standard and Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the latter of which was developed by the United Nations (UN). The Gold Standard is seen worldwide as the most rigorous certification standard in regard to the requirements placed on what a project does. Gold Standard climate protection projects must ensure sustainable development in the project countries on top of additionality. The CDM, on the other hand, puts special emphasis on the quality and transparency of processes when registering and realising a climate protection project. The quality of what the project does and how it is organised is usually maximised in conjunction with the Gold Standard.

In June 2017 we decided to offset all emissions emitted at all stages of the supply chain for the Sion manufacturing process. We’re currently busy identifying and recording these emissions systematically. The supply chain of course includes the production and assembly of components and the accompanying logistics, though we also have to consider the emissions from our office and those produced by our business travel. Once we have finished identifying the emissions, we’ll get straight to the final selection of climate protection projects for offsetting, in cooperation with a partner specialised in the area. Our aim is to select projects that satisfy the highest quality standards and generate the greatest possible added benefits for the local population. The community doesn’t have to bear any additional costs for this. In keeping with the way we see ourselves and our goal of protecting the climate, CO₂-offsets are already included in the Sion purchase price.

Innovations

viSono

The Sion is the first series-produced car that can additionally charge its battery using solar power. Integrated solar cells make it possible to use the Sion for multiple days at a time without having to recharge it. In the course of series development, the viSono system was optimized by our team of experts. Full-surface integrated solar cells make it possible to use the Sion for several days without having to recharge it. A total of 248 cells can generate at peak performance up to 1.2 kilowatts. This means an emission-free range of up to 5,800 kilometres per year – at no cost.

Thus, the viSono system enables you to cover the majority of the kilometers driven on average per day using solar energy only. 

For the solar cells, we use monocrystalline silicon cells that are seamlessly integrated into the entire body.

Our top priority is to select the right material. The components we use need to meet these requirements: a service life of at least eight years, resistance to environmental influences such as UV radiation and water, sturdiness and low weight.

Normally, solar cells are laminated into glass with a thickness of 2 - 5 mm. Glass, however, is relatively heavy and isn’t very break-resistant. For this very reason we use a polymer for viSono as a support material. It is light, robust and significantly more break-resistant than glass.

If you experience a minor crash, you should first of all check to see whether and to what extent the cells in the affected panel are damaged. There’s a layer of polymer that provides the solar cells underneath with the best possible protection against impact and damage such as scratches. Unlike glass, polymer is shatterproof and makes our solar modules significantly more durable than traditional panels. Altogether, this means you should check the damaged module to see if it is still functioning and only replace it if it is genuinely in need of replacement.

Thanks to the full-surface integrated solar cells, under optimal conditions, your Sion is able to charge up to 34 kilometers additionally per day through solar power. In order to effectively use the hours of sunshine during the day, charging via the viSono system whilst driving will also be possible.

biSono

Bidirectional charging means that not only can the Sion be charged with electricity, it can also share its stored electricity any time. As a result, the car can act as an energy storage device on wheels.

The bidirectional charging plug is located in the front at the hood, making it accessible from outside. To use the stored electricity, you can unlock the cover at the hood using your mobile phone or the infotainment system. That way we protect this energy against potential theft.

It’s possible to draw energy from the Sion for any common electronic device (230 volts) with up to 3.7 kW using an ordinary household plug. If that’s not enough, there’s more too. The rapid charging function means you can charge other electric cars with 11 kW or operate high-voltage devices. These days, electricity is usually generated in many areas through two-stroke generators if there is no electrical outlet nearby.

These generators are mostly inefficient and harmful for the environment. The Sion has the ability to replace generators used, for example, on construction sites, at events or in emergency situations. Mobile energy from an environmentally friendly source – that’s the idea behind viSono and biSono.

The Sion has a battery capacity of 35 kWh. Assuming that your household consumes 5 kWh per day, the Sion’s energy will be enough to power your household for 7 days.

Yes, technologically speaking, the Sion is already able to power a household thanks to the integrated biSono system. However, there are a few legal restrictions in this area which we don’t have any influence on. We’re currently taking care of the legal requirements for this.

breSono

Merely installing an artificial air filter in the Sion wasn’t enough for us, so we developed the breSono system. We’ve integrated Island moss into the dashboard and center console to complement the artificial air filter. breSono is not only the innovative design highlight of the vehicle's interior, it is also the natural air filter system of the Sion. This means that it continuously improves the interior air quality while having a positive influence on the car’s interior humidity. When testing the efficiency of the moss, we found that it filters up to 20% of particulate matter out of the air. Since the moss no longer has an enzymatic reaction when in this condition, you don’t even need to take any special care of it.The moss is also easy to replace during a regular filter change. We’ve tested the moss over a period of several years and couldn’t find any noticeable changes. The colour of the Island Moss stays highly consistent and retains its natural appearance throughout the years. Thanks to a special bleaching process, water is extracted and the microstructure that acts as a filter and controls humidity remains intact. This process also protects the moss against discolouration from external influences such as mould. In essence, breSono has the same properties as a sponge that controls humidity in that it either extracts it from the air or adds it to the air.

No, the moss has been specially treated so that it’s no longer a living thing. Despite this, it still maintains its positive features for filtering out particulate matter and regulating humidity.

It works in connection with an ordinary air filter and should be replaced at the same time the filter is.

goSono

goSono combines three special features of the Sion: powerSharing, rideSharing and carSharing. This functionality allows you to offer other people electricity or a ride over the goSono app or simply rent out your car.

It’s easy to share your Sion with other people thanks to the goSono app. Use it to decide how long you’d like to rent out your Sion for. Other app users will then be able to send you a request and, if you accept it, book your car and unlock it – something made possible through an innovative concept for getting into and out of the Sion. Once your car has been returned, the hire fee will be transferred directly to your bank account.

With the goSono app, you can offer to give other travellers a ride with your Sion. Simply enter where your journey is starting and your destination. You’ll then be able to offer other people a ride along this trip using the goSono app and specify an individual price for the ride. Other users can decide if they’re interested in your offer and want to send a request. Users are notified as soon as you accept their request and you’ll be able to pick them up. The agreed price will be transferred directly to your bank account once you reach your destination. So, whether you’re just commuting or heading to a different city entirely, share your trip, split the costs.

Thanks to bidirectional charging technology (biSono technology), you can use your car as an independent charging station. With the goSono app, you can share your energy with others. If somebody requests access to the power outlet on your car, you can accept or reject that request using your app. Decide easily how much energy you’d like to share and at what price. Other app users will be able to see your offer and the exact location of your car. This function transforms your car into a mobile charging station, which you can even earn money with.

reSono

reSono is the Sion’s aftersales service system. It guarantees inexpensive repairs and maintenance by using economical replacement parts. Individual replacement parts for the car will be available to order online at the click of a mouse.

An instructional video and catalogue to back it up will mean that you can install replacement parts in your car without needing much prior knowledge.

If you don't want to carry out repairs yourself, you can also go to a workshop and have the Sion repaired there. It's simple! Our workshop handbook will be published online and accessible to everyone, whether individual or commercial. This will create an extensive network of independent workshops that will provide you with cost-effective repairs and fast service.

We are planning to cooperate with a well-known European service provider for any repairs involving high-voltage or body parts. Consequently, you can be sure that your Sion will always be in good hands and repaired expertly.

Furthermore, we’re intending to offer select CAD data online free of charge. You’ll be able to print it out for yourself with a 3D printer or at a CNC milling service. This also means that suppliers and manufacturers will be able to order and resell parts without having to purchase special authorisation from Sono Motors GmbH. As a result, spare parts for the Sion can be manufactured quickly and easily, leading to benefits for owners in the form of faster delivery times and lower prices. The only disadvantage to this is that we can’t offer the warranty that is otherwise normally offered by the manufacturer for original parts. In general, however, it’s highly important to us that our parts last a long time as we are genuinely aiming for sustainability.

There’ll be access to reSono on our website as soon as the car is in production and being delivered. You’ll be able to order any replacement part for the car then. For some parts, we’ll also show you alternatives – for example, other places that offer the part in question, which would be the case for normal threaded bolts. In these cases, we’ll tell you if you can also just buy these sorts of parts at your local hardware shop. This way you’ll save time and unnecessary expenses.

Production

We will produce the Sion together with NEVS in Trollhättan, Sweden. With NEVS we have found a production partner who shares our vision of a forward-looking and climate-friendly mobility. The production conditions in the former factory of the cult brand SAAB are ideal for us: appropriate production capacities, an experienced team and production using electricity from 100 percent renewable energies.

We plan to start production in the second half of 2020 and then gradually deliver the vehicles.

Payment / Delivery

Preorders

During the first stage, you can preorder and make a down payment on a Sion. It comes with a two-week reflection period. In the second stage, in 2020 we will offer you a contract to purchase a Sion. Again, you’ll have a two-week reflection period, during which you can cancel the contract. You have the possibility to pick up your Sion directly at the plant in Trollhättan. Additionally, we are working on an entirely new delivery concept. For an extra charge it will probably be possible to deliver your Sion to your desired location as well.

After making a down payment you’ll automatically be included on the waiting list. Your spot on the list will be confirmed as soon as you have made this down payment. Your preorder is legally a purchase option. This means that you’ll receive a purchase offer for the Sion before delivery commences and you’ll have the option to either purchase the Sion and sign the purchase contract, or opt for a refund of your down payment.

The Sion costs 25,500 euros including German VAT at market launch.

The basic price for the vehicle is 16,000 euros plus the cost of the battery. We’re planning to offer the battery at a one-time purchase price as well as with the option of renting or leasing it. The reason for excluding the battery from the price is that we want to always offer the most up-to-date price. We expect the price to be around 9,500 euros. We will calculate the final price for the battery based on the market rates for battery cells at the time of production.

The following applies to all persons preordering the Sion: you’ll receive a purchase offer for the Sion before delivery commences and you’ll, again, have the option of either purchasing the Sion and signing the contract or opting for a refund of your down payment.

The rights provided under German law for terminating contracts still apply.

Germany’s regular statutory provisions for warranties apply. On top of that, Sono Motors is providing a warranty for the Sion of probably two years or 100,000 kilometers as well as a warranty for the battery of two years, 100,000 kilometers or 2,000 charge cycles.

The first 5,000 preorders were a significant milestone in Sono Motors’ history, for which reason we gave these early adopters a discount. We reached this milestone on June 14 2018. To say thank you to our many fans who didn’t make it in time to preorder a Sion, we extended this discount until June 30 2018. Unfortunately, it’s no longer possible to get a discount on the Sion.

Delivery

During the first stage, you can preorder and make a down payment on a Sion. It comes with a two-week reflection period. In the second stage, in 2020 we will offer you a contract to purchase a Sion. Again, you’ll have a two-week reflection period, during which you can cancel the contract. You have the possibility to pick up your Sion directly at the plant in Trollhättan. Additionally, we are working on an entirely new delivery concept. For an extra charge it will probably be possible to deliver your Sion to your desired location as well.

Crowdinvesting

Crowdinvesting is a mechanism that enables broad groups of investors to fund startup companies and small businesses. Investors give money to a business and receive ownership of a small piece of that business, or alternatively a fixed interest rate. If the business succeeds, then the value of the company increases, and, hence, also the value of a share in that business. This type of financing enables investments of even small amounts but there are little restrictions to higher investments.

These transactions are closely regulated by the relevant financial authorities of the countries where these financial products are offered.

On a top level, Sono Motors' crowdinvesting-campaign in 2018 was divided into two pillars: one for investors who want to contribute equity and one for investors who want to provide debt at a pre-defined interest rate. The campaign offering equity debt was succesfully closed in the end of 2018. Investors who are interested in joining Sono Motors by offering debt at a pre-defined interest rate, can still do this until October 2019 Details can be found here and on the website of the corresponding crowdinvesting-platform. Details about current campaigns can be found here.

In general, any investment opportunity allows you to participate of the success of Sono Motors. At the same time, every type of investment in Sono Motors carries considerable risks, which can lead to a total loss.

The goal of the campaign is to serve different preferences regarding the investment type:

More detailed information regarding the risks of the company and the risks associated with the investment can be found on the respective investment platforms.

Through crowdinvesting, Sono Motors allows her supporters to participate in the development of the business and become a part of the success-story. At the same time, investors contribute to the financial strength of Sono Motors. This symbiosis enables us to move ahead, faster and more reliably, with the normal steps of vehicle development of the Sion.

No, the company is not listed in any regular stock exchange, i.e. a shareholding through Seedrs cannot be thought of as openly traded asset. However, Seedrs offers a regulated, private market for the commercialisation of shares. In this secondary market, participants can trade their relative shares. Please see the website for detailed information.