E-car Sion passes crash test

E-car Sion passes crash test

Business news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

Electric car maker Sono Motors continues the commercialisation of its first model, despite financial woes. The Sion, which aims to be somewhat independent of the charging infrastructure with its coating of solar panels, has now been crash-tested.

After the crash test – which for the time being, however, does not represent a test according to the generally accepted rules of Euro NCAP – it became apparent that at least the solar panels meet the design specifications. No sharp-edged splinters were produced that would pose a danger to occupants and other road users.

The frontal 50km/h crash test was carried out in Italy at the partner CSI, a certified testing institute, with a Sion whose outer skin with solar modules – for a high-contrast display and thus more accurate test evaluation – was given a green coating.

Until homologation, the manufacturer intends to perform a total of around 300 physical component, sled and overall vehicle tests to confirm the results of the crash simulations carried out in advance. In addition to the legally required testing programme, the company plans to conduct additional EURO NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) crash tests.

At the same time, the manufacturer also announced details of its plans for equipping the vehicle with driver assistance systems. Sono’s engineers plan to retrofit the car with adaptive cruise control functionality via an OTA software update. The necessary hardware is already installed in the series version. Other driver assistant systems include collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, driver alertness assist, traffic sign recognition, and rear view camera.

Financial trouble contines

The Sion and its manufacturer have become known for their ambition to implement a mobility concept beyond the mainstream. Thus, the electronics and software of the Sion are optimised for vehicle sharing concepts. Equipping the body with solar panels is also intended to highlight the car’s alternative energy generation.

However, the start-up company has recently come under considerable financial pressure – investors bailed out; it lacked more than €100 million to prepare for series production. In order to secure financing for the time being, customers who had previously reserved the car in advance with a deposit had to pay the purchase price of almost €30,000 already. Whether this will be enough to secure the production of the Sion is still unclear.

Related articles:

E-car manufacturer Sono Motors reaches crowdfunding target

EV maker Sono Motors in distress, puts hopes on crowdfunding

Former Saab factory to produce Sion electric vehicle

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