Solar Mobility OEM Sono Motors expands its cooperation with the technology company Continental by equipping the Sion series-validation vehicles, the Company’s solar electric vehicle (SEV), with further proven technologies from the automotive supplier. Among other things, the companies will integrate an advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) from Continental in Sono Motors’ series-validation vehicles for the first time, as part of the expanded cooperation.
A future-proof ADAS feature is planned to be standard in every Sion, which is expected to retail for approximately €25,000 net. Prospectively, the ADAS will not only make driving the Sion safer and more comfortable, but will also ensure that the Sion complies with the upcoming stricter European Union road safety regulations (GSR). The cooperation enables Sono Motors to increase efficiency in its development of the Sion, which has the potential to become the world’s first affordable SEV, by using existing modern technologies. Sono Motors currently plans to start production of the Sion in the second half of 2023.
“We started our partnership with Continental in 2018 by working on parts like the electric engine, the software for the Sion’s vehicle control unit and airbag control unit. Extending our cooperation to other areas, such as ADAS and connectivity, not only helps us to make rapid and decisive progress in development, but also gives us confidence that we will provide technology of proven quality to our customers”, says Laurin Hahn, co-founder and CEO of Sono Motors.
A range of advanced technologies make the Sion safer and smarter
In close collaboration, Continental and Sono Motors have been developing the software for comfort control and climate control, as well as the energy, charge level and thermal management of the powertrain. Under the expanded cooperation, Continental will also provide intelligent connectivity features, like a passive access and smart entry system, which automatically recognizes an authenticated user approaching the car, opens the vehicle doors and starts the low voltage systems, alongside a start/stop button for Sono Motors’ series-validation vehicles. In the area of safety, the two companies are also integrating the Sion’s crash sensor. Engineers from both companies have already started an intense test program with the series-validation vehicles on the Continental proving ground in Frankfurt to further validate and improve the integrated technologies.
A renowned company with proven expertise
The Germany-based company Continental has over 150 years of experience and a proven track record in developing pioneering and quality technologies and services for the mobility industry. Continental generated sales of €33.8 billion in 2021 and currently employs more than 190,000 people in 58 countries and markets. “We are particularly committed to sustainable mobility solutions and are therefore delighted to be actively involved in a climate-friendly and exciting mobility project as a partner of Sono Motors”, says Christoph Falk-Gierlinger, Managing Director of Continental’s development and production service provider, Continental Engineering Services.
The Sion – an electric vehicle powered by the sun
The Sion is a spacious and family-friendly solar electric vehicle. Its outer shell will consist of 456 seamlessly integrated solar half-cells and will enable self-sufficiency on short journeys. The energy generated by the solar cells is expected to extend the estimated 305 km range of the Sion’s 54 kWh LFP battery by an average of 112 km/70 mi (up to 245 km/152 mi) per week. Commuters in German metropolitan areas will have to charge their Sion up to four times less than conventional electric cars of the same vehicle class with a similar battery size. The battery will allow for a maximum charging capacity of up to 75 kW (DC) and 11 kW (AC).