Sono Motors revives with solar bus kit, not Sion solar EV

Germany’s Sono Motors has emerged from bankruptcy, but isn’t discussing the fate of its Sion solar-assisted EV.

A press release announcing a plan to bring Sono out of bankruptcy did not mention the Sion, a small hatchback designed to use every body panel as a solar panel to boost range between charges. Instead, the company is focusing on solar kits for commercial vehicles.

Sono Sion production model

Sono Sion production model

First shown in 2022, the kits add solar panels that can provide supplementary electric power to help run the climate control systems on diesel buses, or refrigerated trailers. This is meant to reduce fuel consumption by relying less on a vehicle’s diesel engine to generate electricity.

After several prototypes, the Sion was revealed in production form in 2022, with production planned by Valmet in Finland. At the time, Sono claimed the built-in solar panels could provide up to 152 miles of range in ideal conditions, supplementing a 54-kwh battery pack the company claimed could provide 190 miles of range from regular charging.

Sono Sion production model

Sono Sion production model

Production was originally scheduled to start in late 2023, although Sono was vague about plans to bring the Sion to the U.S. In Europe, Sono claimed a base price as low as $25,000 with incentives. Sono reported as many as 45,000 reservations, as well as 12,000 claimed pre-orders from car subscription firm Finn, and 9,800 “partially paid pre-orders.”

Before production started, Sono announced in February 2023 that it would “terminate its Sion passenger car program,” effective immediately, to focus on its commercial-vehicle solar solutions.

The company said at the time that it was seeking to sell the Sion program, but it hasn’t said whether a buyer has been found. Green Car Reports has reached out for an update.