Sono Motors throws in the towel on solar car Sion

Sono Motors throws in the towel on solar car Sion

Business news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

They ran out of money shortly before the finish line: The start-up company Sono Motors (Munich, Germany) has decided not to enter series production of its solar car Sion. Only recently, the company had successfully conducted first crash tests with the vehicle. Now there are new plans on the table.

The company had been in financial trouble for some time. Last December, it had to launch a financing campaign among potential customers, which, as it has now turned out, did not bring enough funds into the company’s coffers. There were already 45,000 pre-orders and paid reservations. So far, however, only 18 cars have been manufactured for validation purposes.

The company’s management sees the blame for the debacle not in its own mistakes, but in the current instability of the financial markets. In addition, the development programme had been very personnel and resource intensive. More than 330 million euros in capital had already been collected for the programme that has now been stopped, although less than 1% of this was in the form of grants or subsidies from government sources. The company intends to repay the customer funds paid in under the campaign in instalments. In addition, Sono is now implementing a cost-cutting programme that will eliminate about 300 jobs.

According to the plans of Sono’s founders, the Sion was to have a special technical unique selling point: The vehicle was to be equipped with solar cells all over. The energy thus supplied on sunny days was to be used to increase the battery car’s range.

But Sono Motors is not bankrupt. The company founders now want to use their patented technology for equipping curved surfaces with solar cells to change their business model and supply the technology to interested vehicle manufacturers or other customers. This technology, including the associated power electronics and software, is already being used by 23 customers in Europe, Asia and the USA in cars, buses, refrigerated vehicles and motor homes, the company said. Business partners include Mitsubishi Europe, Scania and MAN Truck & Bus. In the second quarter of 2023, Sono plans to launch a Solar Bus Kit – a mass-market retrofit solution for public transport.

In the latest twist so far, communicated on March 1, the Sono Motor founders announced their intention to sell the entire project to an interested third party. The offer includes all IP (CAD/CAE data, test results etc), electronics, pre-series vehicles, and software as well as the complete BOM.

Related articles:

E-car Sion passes crash test

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


If you enjoyed this article, you will like the following ones: don't miss them by subscribing to :    eeNews on Google News


Linked Articles