Solar-panelled car offers answer to charging limitations

Solar-panelled car offers answer to charging limitations
A new self-charging electric car has been unveiled by ground-breaking German start-up, Sono Motors.

In-built solar panels enable the car around 20 miles of additional travel – reaching speeds of up to 87mph – while excess energy created can also be used to charge other electric vehicles (EVs).

Known as the Sion, the pioneering model boasts a claimed travel range of 155 miles. The innovative panels built into its bodywork could offer a solution to the limitations of current EV charging infrastructure.

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The self-charging premise behind the Sion could prove an extremely important one. The UK Government recently joined the likes of France in announcing a ban on the production of traditional diesel and petrol cars by 2040.

A total 7.5m² of solar panelling is embedded in the Sion’s body, protected from outside elements by a polycarbonate layer.

As well as providing charge for the car’s electric motor, the panels enable owners to use the goSono app to offer their own charging services, rides or even lend their car for a certain period of time.

It has already been a significant, breakthrough year in the EV market. Back in May it was announced that Tesla is to double its charge network ahead of the release of the Model 3, its first foray into the mass market.

In a further, significant boost for the EV industry, Volvo announced in July that all of its new cars from 2019 onwards will have electric motors.

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The Sion’s innovative cabin features a moss-panelled dashboard called breSono, which acts as a natural air filter, removing 20% of fine dust particles.

It comes with a retail price of £14,300 – not including the price of the battery, which it is thought can be bought outright for around £3,500 or rented for an undisclosed monthly fee.

In order to start production, Sono Motors needs 5,000 reservations – a figure it hopes to reach in the second quarter of 2019. As of July 27, 1,200 reservations had been placed.

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