Sono Motors and Ari Motors have presented a light electric vehicle prototype with solar integration at the Intersolar trade fair in Munich. The solar integration on the prototype’s charging box provides up to 450 watts of peak power and should thus enable an extension of the range of 20 kilometres per day on average.
The prototype is based on the well-known Ari 458 with a box body in size L, i.e. a light electric vehicle of class L7e. A total of five PV modules made of a thin and specially hardened front glass were mounted on the roof and the side walls of the box. According to Sono Motors, the 20 kilometres of additional range mentioned should refer to “normal weather conditions in Munich”; in “optimal weather conditions in the summer months”, up to 48 kilometres a day should be possible.
The solar range is in addition to the battery range. This is between 120 and 200 kilometres for the Ari 458 Suitcase L, depending on the battery version. Interesting detail: for an extra 1,250 euros, Ari already offers a solar system on the roof of the 458, which is supposed to allow up to 30 kilometres a day. However, this system is considerably more massive than the version that Ari and Sono have now presented.
Sono Solar, the B2B division of Sono Motors, divides its activities into vehicle integrated photovoltaics (ViPV) and vehicle applied photovoltaics (VaPV). In ViPV, the cells are integrated directly into the body of a vehicle, such as in the Sono Sion. In the Ari 458, it is a VaPV application, as the cells are applied to existing elements of the vehicle.
As part of the collaboration, Sono Motors will supply customised PV modules, design the integration layout, carry out the mechanical as well as electrical integration with its team in Munich, and will additionally offer component maintenance.
“The solar integration solutions provided by Sono Motors are the perfect fit for our light vehicle box as it enables us to reduce the vehicle’s dependency on charging infrastructure as well as extend its range and reduce costs,” says Thomas Kuwatsch, CFO of Ari Motors. “We look forward to working with Sono Motors in the future to make our vehicles even more sustainable.” The announcement does not say when the Ari 458 with Sono solar cells will be launched or at what price.
Sono Motors also announced a letter of intent to collaborate with Wallaby Boats GmbH. This will involve installing PV systems on the ‘Wallaby 18′ boat model, which will have a capacity of up to 5,200 Wp. This model is designed to transport personnel and materials for offshore wind farms, according to the manufacturer.
“The company’s values in reducing fuel consumption and promoting greener commercial boats are a great fit for Sono Motors’ first maritime OEM project,” says Mathieu Baudrit, Group Lead Sono Solar at Sono Motors.
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