Sono Motors’ first product, the Sion e-car is primarily designed for car sharing applications and is to be delivered with the appropriate software. In addition, the developers of the electric car have come up with a special highlight: Thanks to solar cells in the car body, the Sion can travel distances of up to 34 kilometers on pure solar energy. In addition, like other electric cars, it can be recharged at the socket. 10,000 interested parties have already ordered the car, which is available for around €25,000, the company announced. Series production is scheduled to start in 2022.
This is already the second major crowdfunding campaign by Sono Motors. Founded in 2016, the company had gotten off to a good start with this type of financing, brought in private investors and secured contracts for contract manufacturing at the former Saab factory in Trollhättan.
But then Sono backed out of the financing round for the series production: Sono had broken off negotiations with financial investors for a further round of financing in December of last year, which it said had reached an advanced stage, and at the same time announced the €50 million crowdfunding campaign.
According to market watchers, the potential investors did not share the vision of an eco-friendly vehicle designed to fight climate change. “In negotiations with large, financially strong investors, it has repeatedly become clear that they are not pursuing our values and goals,” said Sono Motors co-founder Laurin Hahn, explaining the move at the time. Ultimately, he said, his own sustainability claim was not compatible with the financial investors’ focus on quick profits. If Sono had agreed to the investors’ conditions, the planned electric car “would never not have gotten on the road,” the company said. In addition, it would have been “by and large a technology sellout,” explained CEO Hahn at the time.
But despite having reached its crowdfunding goal, Sono Motors now needs more money for the planned series production. The start of production is expected to cost around 255 million euros. The company hopes to earn part of this amount through the sale of CO2 certificates as well as through the down payments from the customers who already ordered a Sion.