The novel cooperation includes the development, simulation, and production of a suspension and chassis system for Sono Motors’ electric car Sion.
The chassis system is integrated into Sono Motors’ new prototype for the first time.
3rd December 2020 – Solar mobility provider Sono Motors has announced its cooperation with Team Rosberg Engineering (TRE) for chassis development of the Sion. The chassis, including the steering system, is a central aspect of every vehicle, especially when it comes to driving experience and driving safety. In the joint project, both companies join forces throughout the development process, from the design and simulation of components and the manufacturing of a functional prototype chassis to the development of the series chassis system. In particular, the partners focused on the design of a safe and robust subframe, which provides sufficient resistance in the event of a frontal crash while at the same time meeting the installation space requirements of the solar-powered Sion.
Incorporating Racing Engineering Expertise into Innovative Mobility Technology
Founded by Formula One world champion Keke Rosberg, TRE is one of the leading providers in the field of vehicle development and brings many years of experience and expertise from the field of motorsports to the development of passenger vehicles. Sono Motors went for a proven partner when choosing TRE. Already in 2018, TRE was involved in selecting a suitable axle concept for the company’s series vehicle.
For Sono Motors, this cooperation “delivers positive outcomes in several aspects,” says Jona Christians, cofounder and CEO of Sono Motors. “TRE is a leading player in chassis development, incorporating specialist knowledge from racing engineers into passenger-car manufacturing. Furthermore, with a German supplier, we have short delivery distances and short delivery times. Meanwhile, both companies’ visions align to drive sustainable mobility forward.”
Nico Rosberg, shareholder of TRE and son of the founder Keke Rosberg, comments that “as a sustainability entrepreneur, it is a particular concern of mine to contribute our expertise to the development of Sono Motors’ Sion and to further develop the future of alternative mobility concepts.” TRE CEO Eckardt Döhrer adds, “We are pleased that we can contribute our profound know-how and TRE’s more than 20 years of experience in chassis development to the development of the Sion and thus help shape technological progress in future-oriented mobility concepts.”
State of Development
By using efficient manufacturing processes to produce new parts such as subframes, wheel carriers, and stabilizer bars, the prototype parts already largely correspond in their properties and functions to those in the future production vehicle.
In October of this year, the finished parts were transported to the prototype production facility located in Roding. The TRE chassis systems are already installed in the next generation of prototypes of the Sion, which is planned to be launched at the end of the year. The prototype can be used for tuning runs and road tests.
TRE GmbH (Team Rosberg Engineering) is a joint venture of IAV GmbH and Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg. TRE has its roots in racing and was spun off from the racing team of the Formula 1 World Champion Keke Rosberg in 1997. The main shareholder IAV GmbH is one of the biggest engineering suppliers with over 8,000 employees.
TRE is highly specialized in chassis development for production and racing vehicles and works as an independent engineering supplier for most of the large OEM's worldwide. TRE’s main competencies include all aspects of vehicle dynamics development with more than 20 years of experience.
In particular, TRE provides a portfolio of complex simulation (axle layout to full vehicle simulation), design of chassis components up to complete rolling chassis, as well as vehicle- and driving dynamics testing. At the expanding headquarters, TRE operates one of the most advanced 7-Post Vertical Dynamic Test Rigs in Europe.
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Sono Motors is on a pioneering mission to accelerate the revolution of mobility by making every vehicle solar. Sono Motors’ disruptive solar technology has been engineered to be seamlessly integrated into a variety of vehicle architectures — including buses, trucks, trailers, and more — to extend range and reduce fuel costs as well as the impact of CO2 emissions, paving the way for climate-friendly mobility.
The Company’s trailblazing vehicle, the Sion, will be the world’s first affordable solar electric vehicle (SEV) for the masses. Empowered by a strong global community, Sono Motors has over 19,000 reservations with advance down-payments for the Sion as of
1 July 2022.