Continental will be delivering the electric drive unit for the solar electric car Sion by Sono Motors, including the motor, performance electronics and the powertrain in one compact system. At the same time, prices for batteries are going higher than expected.
A total of about 260,000 units of the electric car by Munich-based Sono Motors are planned for manufacturing in Europe by a contract manufacturer starting at the end of next year. Which contracter this will be, is still undecided. Sono Motors has now announced who will be providing their electric drive unit instead – Continental.
According to Continental, the system has better performance values than the previous generations. The new electric motor has 290 Nm torque and an improved peak performance at 120 kW. The decision to go with Continental also means that the solar electric vehicle will feature a front-wheel drive system. Current state of orders stands around 8,800 for the solar electric Sion, which is to be released next year.
There is also news regarding the battery: A 35 kWh battery will be delivered by ElringKlinger, which will allow for a 255 km WLTP range. The manufacturer did note that the batteries would be more expensive than originally planned. In 2016, a battery price of about 100 euro per kWh was predicted for 2020. This led to Sono Motors calculating about 4,000 euros per battery. The increasing demand for battery cell from the EV market has led to an increase in pricing that had not been expected, however, with the current price being closer to 9,500 euro. The choice fell on 51Ah-PHEV-II cells, which feature the best energy density on the market, as well as reduced cobalt content, according to Sono.
Considering the electric vehicle itself costs about 16,000 euros, and was not supposed to pass the 20,000 price tag including the battery, it really shows how much has happened in the last two years. The Sion will likely land at a final price of 25,500 euros, putting it on par with the VW ID. At least Sono Motors will also provide the option to rent a battery for 90 to 140 euros a month.