The project with Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE extends from the testing of the patented solar technology through to approval. The approval process is to be overseen by a recognized testing services provider.
Munich, October 22, 2020 – The German electric vehicle manufacturer and mobility provider Sono Motors today announced that it is working on a project with the renowned Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE. The aim of the partnership is to test and certify an innovative technology for integrating solar cells into the bodywork of electric vehicles. The partnership involves Sono Motors’ patented solar technology being comprehensively tested and taken to approval. The tests will focus in particular on producing evidence of the technology’s safety and reliability. The process of certifying the technology for use in electric cars is to be overseen by a recognized German testing services provider. Another primary objective of the collaboration between the Fraunhofer ISE and Sono Motors is to identify other potential areas of application in order to promote certification of the solar technology outside of electric cars, too.
Sono Motors’ solar technology
Sono Motors’ solar technology consists of lightweight, highly efficient photovoltaic modules, a corresponding control unit with a model for predicting the energy yield, and other system components for the electric and mechanical integration of the solar technology into the bodywork of electric vehicles. Solar modules are worked seamlessly into the surface of the body parts to supply vehicles with solar electricity. The technology will debut in Sono Motors’ Sion. Drawing on the power of the sun, the Sion’s solar system will be able to provide energy for an additional range of up to 34 kilometers a day. Production of the innovative electric car is currently scheduled to begin in 2022.
“We have been working hard on developing our solar technology ever since Sono Motors was founded. We are now in the final stages of having this one-of-a-kind technology approved. We are delighted to have the renowned Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems join us at this crucial stage, with its expertise in the area of solar integration,” comments Mathieu Baudrit, Head of Research and Development, Solar Integration, at Sono Motors.
Dr. Harry Wirth, Division Director, Photovoltaics Modules and Power Plants at Fraunhofer ISE adds: “The integration of solar modules into vehicles is a key technology for the low-carbon mobility of the future. Solar electricity increases a vehicle’s range and fewer charging stops mean lower electricity costs. We are delighted to be able to contribute our institute’s comprehensive expertise, ranging from the development and testing of solar modules to electronic applications to this joint project.”
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Sono Motors is on a mission of enabling a mobility system, where every electric vehicle is solar, shared and independent from fossil-fuels. Today, an experienced specialist team is developing a forward-looking electric car that is suitable for daily use, with integrated solar cells and innovative mobility services, the Sion. Both, the integrated solar technology as well as the mobility services enable users to access clean mobility, harnessing solar energy and reducing CO2 impacts.
Sono Motors was founded in 2016, has been continuously growing since then and currently counts more than one hundred employees. The team combines international young talents and industry veterans, including former employees from BMW, Nissan, Chrysler, Daimler, FlixBus and myTaxi. Since its foundation, the company has raised more than € 50M through reservations and funding. The company released its first generation car prototype to the public in 2017. To date, more than 12,400 people have reserved and partially paid for the vehicle. In 2018, Sono Motors was recognised as a Solar Impulse Efficient Solution by the Solar Impulse Foundation. In January of 2020, Sono Motors successfully closed one of the biggest Community Crowdfunding Campaigns in Europe.
The first model is planned to enter production in 2022. The Sion is expected to have the lowest TCO (total cost of ownership) in its category at the time of production.