Sion Solar Electric Car: The Complete Guide For India

Sion Solar Electric Car India
Price: N/A
Type of electric vehicle: Batterieelektrisches Fahrzeug (BEV)
Body type: Hatchback
Battery size: 54 kWh
Electric range (WLTP): 189 miles
Tailpipe emissions: 0g (CO2/km)


Electric Cars: The Basics


For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:

For those keen on an overview of the global electric vehicle (EV) market and the different types of electric vehicles (EVs), simply scroll down to the end of the article!


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The All-Electric Sion Solar Car


Like the Netherlands based Lightyear solar car start-up, Germany based solar electric car start-up, Sono Motors GmbH is also looking to change e-mobility with the use of solar cells on its self-charging solar electric vehicle (SEV), called the Sion

The company was founded in 2016 by Jona Christians and Laurin Hahn with a vision to realise a future free of fossil fuels, with only electric and shared transportation.  Between 2016 and 2017, the Munich based company conducted crowdfunding campaigns and raised EUR 2 million.  It has come a long way since then, and in January 2020, the start-up raised EUR 50 million in 50 days. The company was floated on the US NASQAQ stock exchange on 17th November 2021 (ticker symbol: SEV).

Sono Motors has received over 16,000 reservations for the Sion solar electric vehicle (SEV). Like in the case of other EV startups like Fisker, the Sion will be manufactured via contract manufacturing, with deliveries commencing in first half 2023. Sono is also licensing its solar technology to other automotive manufacturers for application in buses, trucks, camper vans, trains and boats.

The company’s core mission is to ‘Establish large scale smart e-mobility and sharing thereby make a significant contribution to the reduction of global CO2 emissions’.

The all-electric front-wheel drive Sion solar car is equipped with 248 integrated solar cells (monocrystalline silicon cells).  These cells are placed on the hood, fender, sides, roof and rear of the vehicle. At peak performance, the solar cells can generate up to 1.2 kilowatts.  The solar cells are protected by a robust, scratch-resistant polymer. According to the company, the solar cells can add up 69 miles (112 km) additional zero-emission range per week to the car EV battery.

The solar electric car has a 54 kWh lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) EV battery.  The electric vehicle includes bidirectional charging. The battery-electric vehicle can be charged via a dedicated charging point (up to 75 kW DC and 11 kW AC).  The EV can be rapid charged up to 80% in 35 minutes using CCS (rapid charging station). An 80% charge provides a 149 miles EV range.

As is in the case of all EVs, the remaining 20% takes longer to charge. In the case of the Sion, it take an additional 24 minutes to charge the remainder 20%. On a full charge, the pure electric solar car has a range up to 189 miles. Using an 11 kW EV charger, the EV can be fully charged in 5 hours (80% in 4 hours).

The company has focussed the interior on ‘essentials’. These include: ISOFIX child seat attachment, three-point seat belts, power windows, folding rear seat bench, heated seats for driver and front passenger, single-zone automatic climate control and integrated infotainment system with ambient light. The EV is equipped with a 10-inch display. The Sono app allows the user to share energy, share the ride, or share the EV. The company is keen to promote its use as a ‘sharing vehicle’.

Features include, anti-lock braking system, ESP with traction control, electronic power steering, infotainment system with integrated connectivity and mobility services/ goSono systems (powerSharing, rideSharing, carSharing). The EV will come with a standard warranty of 2 years or 62,000 miles. However, the company has yet to finalise the terms of the warranty.

The solar green car has a 120 kW motor (163 HP) and capable of a top speed up to 87 miles per hour. 0-62 mph in under 9 seconds (torque: 270 Nm). The solar electric car will be manufactured in Europe (Sweden) by NEVS (former SAAB plant) using 100% renewable energy.  Total number of Sion SEVs to be manufactured are 257,000 within 7 years.   


PROS CONS
An affordable solar electric vehicle (SEV) suitable for city drivingLimited interior refinement
Solar cells reduce need for plug-in charging. Also equipped with bidirectional chargingLimited real world performance data (prototype stage)
Cheap to drive on solar zero-emission rangeDamage to solar roof could be prohibitively expensive to replace

Gallery


The All-Electric Sion Solar Electric Car (credit: Sono Motors)


One of the key advantages of driving an electric vehicle (EV), is that, it is cheaper to drive, compared to conventional internal combustion engine (ICE), petrol and diesel vehicles. For many years, we have witnessed a significant increase in prices at petrol pumps across India. However, this is not an ‘India’ only trend, but a global trend. We can continue to expect an inflation in global petrol and diesel prices for the foreseeable future.

Both, a pure electric car and a plug-in hybrid electric car, offer significant savings on driving costs per mile, when driven on zero-tailpipe emission electric mode. In India, filling a petrol or diesel car can cost anything between Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000. As an example, the very popular Audi Q7 diesel SUV has a fuel capacity of 85 litres. Assuming an average cost per litre of Rs 90, the cost of filling a full tank will be up to Rs 7,650!

In comparison, the all-electric Audi e-tron SUV , which is now available in India, and a similar size to the Audi Q7, can be fully recharged for less than Rs 1,000. Put another way, charging the Audi electric SUV, can save up to 85% compared to filling a full tank of fuel (in India, the average cost for residential electricity is between Rs 5 to Rs 10 per kWh).

At an average one can expect a cost per km of Rs 1 for a zero-emission EV, while for an equivalent petrol or diesel vehicle, the cost per km could be up to Rs 7 per km. The annual cost savings achieved by switching to electric driving is significant! The sooner you switch to green cars, the sooner you can start saving money. That is simply the bottom-line!


At A Glance
EV Type:Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)
Vehicle Type:Hatchback
Engine:Electric
Available In India:No

Variants (1 Option)
Sion

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP)
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery size: 54 kWh
Charging:Up to 75 kW DC charging standard. On-board charger: 11 kW
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type:Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:0g (CO2/km)
Battery Warranty:2 years or 62,000 miles (TBC by manufacturer)

Charging Times (Overview)
Slow charging AC (3 kW – 3.6 kW):6 – 12 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SOC)
Fast charging AC (7 kW – 22 kW):3 – 8 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging AC (43 kW):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging DC (50 kW+):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Ultra rapid charging DC (150 kW+):0-80% : 20 mins to 40 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Tesla Supercharger (120 kW – 250 kW):0-80%: up to 25 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)

Dimensions
Height (mm):1660
Width (mm):1830
Length (mm):4470
Wheelbase (mm):2830
Turning Circle (m):11
Cargo Volume (L):650

Sion
EV Battery Capacity:54 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):189 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (kWh/100km):16
Charging:75 kW DC Charging (on board charger: 11 kW AC)
Top Speed:87 mph
0-62 mph:9 seconds
Drive:Front-Wheel Drive (FWD)
Max Power (HP):163
Torque (NM):279
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Weight (kg):1,730
Colours:Black
NCAP Safety Rating:N/A

Pure Electric Cars Available In India


For most of us in India, recognising an electric car on our roads will be a challenge. Compared to the more matured EV markets, like China and Europe, the availability of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) in India is still limited. Having said that, the leading automotive manufacturers in India, like Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra, have demonstrated leadership in the development and introduction of electric vehicles (EVs) in India, to include, the Tata Nexon EV and the Mahindra eVerito. Tata announced recently it had increased its sale of EVs in India by a whopping 353% in FY22 compared to FY21. Tata sold 19,106 EVs in FY22.

India currently has up to 20 pure electric cars on sale, ranging from Rs 11.99 to Rs 2.05 Crore. Leading international automotive brands like Audi AG, BMW AG, Hyundai Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), Mercedes-Benz, MG Motors, Porsche AG & the Volvo Group have introduced plug-in pure electric cars in India. We can expect many more international automotive companies to follow suit, to include, the famed EV manufacturer, Tesla Inc. In fact, Elon Musk has already made public his intentions to sell Tesla electric cars in India.

For the successful development of the electric driving market, the deployment of widespread EV charging infrastructure is a prerequisite, to include, charging at home and public EV charging stations. In India, electric car charging infrastructure is still at very nascent stages. The total number of public charge points in India are currently a mere 1,742. EV chargers installed at homes is also at a nascent stage.

Lastly, the introduction of cheaper electric cars with longer ranges is vital in building confidence with potential buyers to migrate to zero-tailpipe emission electric cars. EVs at a price point below Rs 20 Lakhs will be key in spurring growth in the Indian EV market. Below is a list of BEVs currently available in India.


EV Type Of EV Price
Audi e-tronBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 1.00 Crore
Audi RS e-tron GTBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 2.05 Crore
Audi e-tron SportbackBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 1.19 Crore
Audi e-tron GTBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 1.8 Crore
BMW iX Electric SAVBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 1.16 Crore
Hyundai Kona ElectricBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 23.79 Lakhs
Jaguar I-PACEBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 1.05 Crore
Mercedes-Benz EQCBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 1.06 Crore
MG ZS EVBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 21.49 Lakhs
Porsche TaycanBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs. 1.5 Crore
Porsche Cayenne E Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)Rs 1.58 Crore
Tata Tigor EVBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 11.99 Lakhs
Tata Nexon Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 14.24 Lakhs
Volvo XC90Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)Rs 95 Lakhs



Author

Martina Giobbio

Like, many in her generation, Martina is very passionate about protecting the environment and creating a more sustainable future. Though she is new to the electric driving sector, her drive to learn and contribute is unparalleled. Martina has a Bachelor Degree in Italian Humanities and a Master Degree in Communication from the University of Milan. She has previously worked in press offices and a publishing house. She loves writing and reading.

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