Solar electric car startup Sono Motors announces the European production partner for the first Sion EV. National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) takes charge of manufacturing at the Trollhättan-site from mid-2020.
Munich-based Sono Motors has found a reliable production partner in NEVS and Sono COO Thomas Hausch considers the choice “ideal”, particularly with regards to “traditional automotive experience combined with e-mobility knowhow,” he said.
The startup had already announced last year it would outsource production of the solar-supported Sion and the former Saab site now owned by NEVS in Sweden will accommodate for a production run of 260,000 electric vehicles – stretched over eight years starting in the second half of 2020.
This is about half a year later than previous reports suggested, and the relatively measured ramp-up (43,000 EVs per year) will make for a competitive sales scenario when the Sion hits the market with a base price of 25,500 euros. This too is more than the 16,000 euros Sono had initially imagined and mostly due to increased battery prices, or better, high demand for battery cells from more prominent market players.
In terms of technology, the startup has teamed up with Continental for the electric drive reportedly. ElringKlinger delivers the 35 kWh battery said to last for about 255 kilometres. Coming back to the sales scenario, these data may make the Sion a challenging sell for Sono. By the time production kicks-off in 2020 and for the first EVs to hit the market later that year or in 2021, more electric cars will be available than ever at a more competitive price. Take the Volkswagen ID. for example that will also range in the 25,000 euro segment.
On the bright side, Sono Motors currently has around 9,800 prepaid reservations for the Sion now, and the solar-powered electric vehicle includes smart features designed with sharing in mind. Users will be able to share not only their car but also the energy stored in the battery. Moreover, the battery leasing option for 90 – 140 euros is still on the table and would bring down the (starting) price considerably.
Since launching the first Sion test vehicles, Sono Motors has been on tour around Europe. With NEVS on board, the electric vehicle roadshow heads to Sweden next.
Source: statement via email
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