Bad news for the German electric car industry (and beyond): Sono Motors announced than the production of its solar electric car Sion will be discontinued with immediate effect. All pre-orders have been canceled and money will gradually be returned. The Sion was one of the most innovative German projects in the field of electric mobility: the idea behind the vehicle was to create a solar car, which would allow owners to increase their range of more than 30 kilometers every day by the sun's rays alone.
End of production
In retrospect, the decision, which came as a bolt from the blue for fans, actually has very precise causes. The growing instability of the financial markets has led to rising costs and very serious financing problems. Despite over 45.000 bookings, many pre-orders and a campaign (#SaveSion), launched last December on social media to raise the money needed to continue production, the Sion is dead. It involved 90% of the company's economic capacity: it would not have survived the production phase.
Sono Motors, however, is still alive. The team says in an announcement that it now plans to "focus solely on retrofitting and integrating solar technology into third-party vehicles." seems determined to continue developing innovative products in the solar sector.
Survivors and survivors
While the decision to discontinue the Sion was not an easy one, the company seems determined to bounce back by working as a development and cooperation partner for automotive groups such as Mitsubishi, Scania and MAN Truck. In summary, Sono Motors will transform from a manufacturer to a B2B solar solution and service provider to the automotive industry.
Someone will object that a project like this could seem completely "unrealistic". It should be noted that the German company's solar car failed not due to inefficiency, but due to organizational problems. One day, perhaps, the ideas behind it will race on the wheels of some other automaker. And anyway the "resistance" continues with Lightyear One.
Rest in peace, Zion. Walk in the sun.