A new electric car that can charge itself through the use of solar panels in its bodywork, has been revealed by a German start-up.
Sion, a battery and solor-powered vehicles from Sono Motors was financed by a crowd funding campaign through Indiegogo, taking its next step on the path to full realisation.
The EV boasts a claimed range of 155 miles and can travel around 20 miles through solar charging.
Being touted as the first electric car that can be recharged (to a notable degree) through solar power, the exterior of the vehicle is equipped with 330 integrated solar cells fitted to the roof, both sides, the hood, and the rear.
In good and sunny conditions, the panels can generate enough electricity each day to give the car an additional 18 miles of range on top of the battery distance.
The Sion has 7.5m² of solar panelling on its body, which is protected from the elements by a layer of polycarbonate.
This innovative approach to car design and ownership is continued in the cabin, which features a dashboard with a moss panel. Called breSono, this mossy surface acts as a natural air filter, and can get rid of up to 20 per cent of fine dust particles.
The battery itself comes in two versions – a 14.4kWh pack that will take you 50 miles, or a 30 kWh pack that will take up to 120 miles.
Customers are being given the option of leasing the battery, in a similar way to how battery leasing with the Renault Zoe works, or of buying the battery outright. Their reason for doing this is that Sono expects batteries to have dropped in price by the time Sion is ready for production, and they would like to pass this saving on to customers.
Sono Motors need to generate 5,000 pre-orders to be able to start manufacturing (OEM). There are no figures available at present on the number of pre-orders that have been made already.
The Sion costs €16,000, excluding the batter, with discounts available for pre-orders on the company website.