Earlier this month, I wrote about a campaign to save Sono Motors’ Scion cars. many years, clean technica has documented the progress of Sion Sono, from interviews with people involved to the unveiling of the car. We followed the company’s journey to start producing solar-powered vehicles. As we strive to make this happen, we are sad to report that we are at the brink of not having enough funding.
The Sono Sion is an electric vehicle that, like the Aptera, harnesses the power of solar energy. But in contrast to models in its class, it features a more traditional hatchback silhouette and a four-wheeled vehicle. This looks very similar to his 2018 Nissan LEAF that I previously owned. His 5-seat hatchback with a 35 kWh and 400 volt battery pack produces 120 kW of power. However, the only major difference in this vehicle (apart from the solar) is the rear-wheel drive setup. This changes his driving dynamics, but ultimately has little practical impact for most drivers.
The Scion may be your run-of-the-mill low-end EV, but it’s the features that truly set it apart.
The car’s most striking feature is the integrated solar power charging system. All available surfaces are fitted with solar cells, from the three sunroofs to the doors to the hatchback. Under ideal conditions, you can charge the equivalent of 19 miles or 1.2 kW in a single day. This is on par with what you get with a Level 1 charger in the US, but without the emissions associated with cord or grid power in most places.
This vehicle is equipped with bi-directional charging and can be activated by an application. If you have surplus energy and don’t mind sharing it with other drivers, the app will allow you to charge it without your presence at all times. Plus, this model comes pre-installed with a hitch that can tow up to 1500 lbs. Especially valuable for a European customer who doesn’t drive his truck like an American.
In 2019, we received numerous emails from readers warning us of potential problems with the company.Clean technology can be thrilling clean technica Enthusiasts and geeks all over the world, investors tend to be much more cautious in their decisions and may be a little too cautious.
No additional information was available as to why the inventors and potential funders did not come to an agreement. Sion said investors could have destroyed the business and taken their work away without making the car. Or maybe those investments thought solar cars were too risky an option. It’s unclear what happened, but instead of finding another way to convince them otherwise, the company is best at asking customers for additional funding rather than working with investors. I decided.
Despite the challenges faced in 2019, the organization overcame it. From testing cars around the world to expanding the sales reach to America, it was a process that could fill an entire book if someone wanted to do it. clean technica Our own Tina Casey concludes that Sion is worth the wait.
At the end of 2022, the company again began to run out of money and decided that without more money it could not produce Zion. I decided to start a campaign to get
Called #SaveSion, the campaign aims to pay 3,500 reservation holders the full price of their vehicles. They hadn’t received the money, but asked people to promise this. They were confident that those funds could only be received and delivered if enough people pledged to do so.
Campaign extended, investors back at the table
The campaign didn’t raise enough money in a month to cover production costs, but it made enough progress that the company didn’t want to throw in the towel. Moreover, as they say, “money speaks.” And seeing people prepay for cars has impressed investors and brought some of them back to the table.
“Our plan to send a clear signal to both the market and investors through increased bookings, promised payments and an additional funding source of around €50 million seems to be working. Co-Founder of Sono Motors. Lauryn Hahn, CEO and CEO, said: “The participation of thousands of community members has once again proven the market demand for Sion. Thousands of phone calls, emails with the community. , and the determination I feel from my personal interactions, combined with the curious feedback of many potential investors, gives us the strength to continue both the campaign and the fight for Zion.Unparalleled mobility solutions. am.”
The company also provided some updated numbers to the media. According to a press release, Sion’s bookings are estimated at over 44,000 of his. This includes approximately 21,000 private reservations with a security deposit and over 1,500 new private reservations. Additionally, approximately 22,000 non-binding B2B pre-orders have been placed to date. If all these figures translate into actual sales, total net sales would be around €1 billion.
Sion’s B2C bookings have surged since the campaign launched on December 8, 2022, driving the largest month-over-month increase in private bookings since going public.
For these reasons, Sono decided to extend the campaign.
“Every day we invest in the future is worth it and that is why we have decided to extend the campaign,” said Jonah Christians, co-founder and CEO of Sono Motors. Not giving up is due to these pioneers, and we need to spend more time with them to energize even more people aspiring to revolutionize mobility. It’s up to all of us now to fight for Zion, fight for the future, fight for a world free of fossil fuels.”
Featured image courtesy of Sono Motors.
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