For those who were looking forward to the upcoming solar-powered Sion electric vehicle from the startup Sono, we have some bad news. The German-based company has officially pulled the plug on its development, and will focus completely on its Sono Solar B2B tech business.
A revised version of the Sion debuted just last year, with a small hatchback style that featured 456 integrated solar half-cells covering the body panels. These solar cells added an additional 112 to 245 km of range (on top of the 305 km of battery range on its own) per week from the sun, according to Sono.
But late last year, company officials said there were serious financial issues with the project, and it offered a last-ditch effort with crowdfunding to keep it alive. Despite reaching €47 million by January 26, it wasn’t enough to reach the €100 million Sono needed, and now the company will shutter the project. Unfortunately, it will also let go 300 workers associated with the EV division. Thomas Hausch, company COO, has decided to step down but will support the company’s transition.
“This pivot marks a significant step in Sono Motors’ business development,” says Laurin Hahn, co-founder and CEO of Sono Motors. “Even though we had to terminate our original passion project, the Sion program, shifting our entire focus to business-to-business solar solutions provides us with an opportunity to continue to create innovative products in the solar space. It was a difficult decision and despite more than 45,000 reservations and pre-orders for the Sion, we were compelled to react to the ongoing financial market instability and streamline our business.”