from a distance it passes unnoticed. It could be a black car like the others. But as one approaches it, it is possible to realize one’s superpower. The new electric vehicle They are enginesa Germany-based startup, has solar panels covering its doors, hood, roof, and the rest of its surface: 456 solar cells, to be exact.
When parked on the street, the car has the ability to recharge, performing a kind of “extra charge”, which, although it does not eliminate the need to plug it in longer, to complete the charge , reduces the time of It is four times less. “Solar energy must make sensesays Laurin Hahn, co-founder and CEO of Sono Motors. “It’s practical and makes your life easier”.
Hahn and Jona Christians, also a co-founder, started working on the car ten years ago. “We started in a small garage in Munich, with a vision: a world without fossil fuels”Hahn remembers. The partners soon realized that solar power could help accelerate the adoption of electric cars.
In Germanyas in many other European countries, most people rent apartments instead of owning houses. While a homeowner can plug in a car overnight to charge it, using public chargers can be more complicated. But the solar energy built into the car can greatly extend the range.
In a first experiment, Hahn and Christians they bought a cheap car on ebay, they made it electric and added solar power. Then begin the years of development. The company now has a production-ready design and is building the vehicles that will be part of the final test. Production is scheduled for start in the second half of 2023. The price, as they shared, would be around $25,000, a significantly lower number than other solar-powered electrics, such as the Netherlands-based Lightyear, which costs $250,000.
The car also has bidirectional charging, which means it can be used charge electrical devices or plug it into a home to provide backup power. “It’s a huge battery”Hahn says. “Fundamentallycould work on it for several days or even weeks without any recharging”.
Two trends made it possible the car is working in the market now. “Solar technology has become remarkably cheaper and more efficient over the past 20 years. explain on the one hand. Other, “the adoption rate of electric vehicles has increased. 10 years ago, electric vehicles were not as well perceived by public opinion, whereas now they are.
The company also manufactures a “solar bus kit which can be used to retrofit gasoline buses, retrofitting them with solar panels on their roofs. When using solar energy to run air conditioning, lighting and other electrical systems, a bus can use less fuel. The account by the German company is that with this transformation up to four tonnes of CO2 emissions can be saved per year. The team is also working with truck manufacturers to integrate solar power into new vehicles.