Sono Motors, the Munich-based solar mobility OEM, and pepper motion debut the first electric bus with the Company’s solar technology on the streets. pepper is an international OEM for the electrification (repowering) of used and new vehicles. As part of the ongoing collaboration, Sono Motors equipped an electrified Mercedes-Benz Citaro from pepper’s demo fleet with a customized version of the Solar Bus Kit containing 14 semi-flexible solar modules to provide around 1.3 kW peak to the 24-volt system. The energy generated by this installation is expected to be 3.3 kWh/day on yearly average based on weather conditions in Munich.
The partnership with pepper is the next milestone project on the way to Sono Motors’ mission of solar on every vehicle, as well as a new strategic market entry for the Company’s B2B business. During the next two years, pepper clients across Europe will have the opportunity to participate in the test phase. “We believe in a future in which every vehicle is a solar electric vehicle. That’s why we’re convinced that our first e-bus with solar technology is a great achievement for the future of public transport. Sono Motors and pepper aim to accelerate the transition towards zero-emission vehicles already today”, states Laurin Hahn, CEO, and co-founder of Sono Motors.
“We at pepper are passionately committed to driving successful mobility transformation in our society, thus Sono Motors is the ideal partner for us as we share the same vision of a world without fossil fuels”, says Andreas Hager, CEO of pepper.
The project with pepper is the first time Sono Motors has performed electrical integration within an e-bus. The solar charge controller, the MCU, developed in-house by Sono Motors, transfers the solar energy to the 24-volt battery where it is used as the primary source of energy. The e-bus’ DC/DC charger takes over energy supply when the solar energy supply is insufficient. This means the solar energy is not directly used for driving but rather powering the HVAC and other auxiliary systems. This way, the stress on the high voltage battery and DC/DC charger is reduced and could therefore lead to longer operating hours, fewer charging cycles and a reduced total cost of ownership.