3rd December 2020 – When selecting a suitable axle concept back in 2018, we got together with an expert from the world of motorsport – Team Rosberg Engineering, or TRE for short.
An overview of all important phases of vehicle development.
Faster Into Production With Only One Variant
We do many things differently. For example, we produce the Sion in only one variant and color. This means less development time and shortens procurement, testing and vehicle build. The majority of our components come into the Sion as so-called "carry-over parts" and therefore only have to be tested in the vehicle environment. We also shorten the test duration by focusing on simulations early in the development phase. We have close and good relationships with our partners. We develop new and efficient processes with them right from the start. This saves us valuable time.
Already early in the concept phase we sent our first vehicles (SVC1) on test drives. With that we got direct feedback from those people who were interested in the concept of the Sion. We quickly found enthusiastic supporters who came together in a big community and whose opinions and feedback were integrated into the further development in many points. At the same time, we built Sono Motors, hired a team of one hundred people and developed organizational structures. Of course, a wide network of partners and suppliers was also set up. With the successful completion of the concept phase, we are now in the final third of the design phase. Through loops of design and simulation, all homologation requirements are already tested on the virtual vehicle.
The Next Milestones
In the final stage of the design phase, it is important, among other things, to reach the next stage of vehicle maturity (SVC2). These vehicles are mainly used to calibrate the powertrain and to tune the chassis. At the end of this phase, the next milestone is reached: the development release for the series prototypes (design release PB). Here, the toolings, mainly "soft toolings", are ordered to reach the next level of maturity (SVC3).
The Testing Process
The completion of the procurement phase, which involves tool manufacturing, part production and testing, logistics and pre-assembly, is followed by the MRD (material required date). With that the assembly of the bodies (BIW) and prototypes begins in the prototype shop. Once the first hardware has been completed, the test phase begins. Here, the functional tests and crash tests are carried out to ensure that the requirements from the specification and homologation are met. In the subsequent design update phase necessary changes are incorporated into the virtual vehicle. At the end there is then the milestone design release MB, with the completion of which we then start the procurement of series toolings.
Here, the production trial begins, the assembly of the first vehicles at our contract manufacturer on the production line (Body Shop and General Assembly). At the same time, the PPAP process (Production Parts Approval Process) is initiated at our suppliers. Now the final tests for the type approval are carried out with vehicles from production. With the successful type approval and the completion of the PPAP, series production of the Sion (SOP) begins.
Getting the Sion onto the road as soon as possible. In September 2021 the first vehicles will roll off the assembly line in Trollhättan. The actual start of production (SOP), which we have set ourselves as a target, will then be at the beginning of 2022. Good project management of course always includes a realistic risk assessment, especially in a company like ours, because transparency and openness are important to us. Our experienced development team continuously evaluates possible risks. In our overview, potential delays due to possible risks are presented transparently. We continuously evaluate all events and development steps in order to be able to react quickly and to avoid delays. Our clear goal is to deliver the Sion at the beginning of 2022.