Germany's Sono Motors started as a garage project, with the full-on sustainable mobility dream morphing into an automotive company in 2016. Its Sion family EV features solar panels on the hood, roof and body that provide a little extra range. Pre-orders opened in June 2017, and now powertrain and battery details have been confirmed – along with a price rise.
Sono Motors has announced that Continental's powertrain division is to manufacture the electric drive unit on the upcoming car, which will now produce 290 Nm of torque and will have "significantly more horsepower" at 163 PS (160 hp). Sono is also developing "an innovative and custom LED headlamp concept" with Automotive Solutions Germany.
And now for the bad news. The company has partnered with ElringKlinger AG and confirmed that the electric five seater will have a 35 kWh battery, but this will add (quite significantly) to the overall cost of the vehicle if buyers intend to purchase, rather than rent, the battery pack.
"We know today that the estimate of €4,000 is no longer realistic," Sono reported in a Facebook post. "By now we estimate the price of the battery at around €9,500. We are aware that this news has a considerable impact on you. As transparency and honesty are essential for us, we would like to share this development directly with you."
That battery price bump means that buying the vehicle outright will now cost in the region of €25,500 (about US$29,000), assuming that the car only price remains the same at €16,000.
Sono does say that "a modern, particularly sustainable battery technology" is assured, which is promised to be more durable and sustainable than conventional batteries. And that the cost of renting or leasing the battery (so far) remains unchanged at €90 - €140 per month.
The expected range is given as 250 km (155 mi) per charge, though an additional 30 km per day is said to be possible thanks to the solar panels on the roof and body.
The company has so far received nearly 9,000 pre-orders for the Sion electric vehicle, and expects the car to go into series production next year.
Source: Sono Motors
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