German tech company to launch $25,000 solar car next year – | CarTailz

First there were electric vehicles (EVs) and then there were hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCVs). Could the next innovation be solar powered vehicles? According to a German company, solar cars are just around the corner with a 2023 release date. While powering a car with the sun has long been talked about, it seems Sono Motors is the closest thing to realizing that dream at an affordable price.

German car company Sono Motors is expecting the launch of its first commercially available solar-powered electric vehicle. the sion, in Europe mid-2023. The car is also scheduled to tour the US to establish a potential market for the vehicle in North America. The Sion costs $25,000, which is significantly cheaper than many electric vehicles. It requires 465 integrated solar half-cells on its exterior to provide its power and is expected to be able to run 70 miles per week on solar power alone. For longer distances, the new solar car is equipped with a lithium iron phosphate battery that enables a range of 300 kilometers and can be charged to 80 percent in 35 minutes at a fast charging station.

Sono announced that it already has 42,000 reservations for the Sion in Europe and hopes to produce 257,000 of the model by the end of the decade. The car company reduced manufacturing costs by only offering a black version of the car and will further reduce costs by following a direct online sales model. It’s also fitted with an aluminum spaceframe instead of steel for cost reasons and doesn’t need painting due to its extensive solar fairing.

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The solar panels used by Sono use a polymer-based solar technology that is still under development. CEO Lauren Hahn explained, “We have several patents, over 30 patents on them… And that’s a big difference because all the other companies trying to integrate solar power are mostly using glass. Glass is heavy, slow to produce and very expensive.” The car will also be fitted with a dashboard app that will provide the driver with information about the charge level and when it will charge. It will also have the ability to charge other electrical devices, even other electric vehicles. Hahn believes that equipping electric vehicles with solar panels will become the norm in the future because it doesn’t add much cost to the manufacturing process and can diversify the car’s renewable energy sources.

But Sono isn’t the only company hoping to power vehicles with solar panels, as several companies around the world have released prototype and concept cars equipped with solar power. In June this year, Dutch startup Lightyear announced its Lightyear 0 EV, which comes with 5m2 from solar panels on the roof, bonnet and trunk for additional charging while driving. The car can be powered from a conventional EV charging station and receives additional power from the sun, with a range of up to 40 miles per day on solar power and a range of 388 miles on a conventional charge. Lightyear expects the car to sell for around $247,000, making it significantly less affordable than Sono’s offering.

The enterprise specified“With Lightyear 0, we are offering a new future for motorists who want the freedom of mobility with the assurance of sustainable energy, and that future starts now.” It added: “After six years of research and development, design, engineering, prototyping and According to testing, this top-of-the-line solar car is scheduled to go into production this fall.”

In October, a TU/ecomotive student team from Eindhoven University of Technology produced their Zem prototype, a car that cleans carbon from the air while driving. The vehicle is equipped with a carbon capture device that absorbs and stores more CO2 as it radiates. It is also equipped with solar panels and an electric battery. The structure is made of 3D printed recycled plastic and the interior is made of pineapple vegan leather. Louise de Laat, team leader of the project specified“We implemented so many technologies in one car to really show what they can all do together.” While this type of car technology is still a long way off, the students are demonstrating the potential for combining electric batteries, solar panels and CO2 Separation technology to improve the performance of the car and reduce its impact on the environment by not only relying on lithium batteries.

While a solar-powered car model has yet to hit the market, there are high hopes for the integration of solar technology into traditional electric vehicles to increase their range and add more renewable energy charging options. As we continue to see major innovations in solar panel technology, there is optimism about the potential for harnessing the sun’s energy to power vehicles, with commercial offerings likely not far off.

By Felicity Bradstock for

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