Electric car covered with 330 solar panels can recharge as it drives
The prototype all-electric vehicle is called Sion and will be available in late 2019
It has a total of 330 solar panels installed across the bodywork panels
Prices are expected to start from €16,000 ($18,540/£14,320) when it launches
The all-electric vehicle will also employ an innovative new ventilation system that uses an Icelandic moss to filter the air as it passes into the main cabin
A solar-powered saloon car that charges as it drives is being tested in Germany.
Munich-based manufacturer Sono Motors has built the new prototype, dubbed Sion, to help Germany hit its national target of 1 million electric cars on the road by 2020.
Sion has solar cells integrated into its bodywork, with a total of 330 solar cells built into the roof, bonnet and sides of the vehicle.
These enable the vehicle to recharge its battery when sunlight is hitting the solar cells, whether it is on the road, or parked in the sunny spot in a car park.
Sono Motors have also included support for conventional power outlets — so car owners aren’t left stranded on overcast days.
The Sion also features moss integrated into the dashboard to naturally filter out dust particles and regulate the humidity inside the cabin.
The solar panel-packed vehicle is set to launch in Germany in late 2019.
Sono Motors, which was founded in 2016, wants the Sion to be versatile and hopes to allow the car to be charged using solar energy as well as conventional outlets.
The firm has earmarked a 2019 date for mass production at one of its German plants.
Some 5,000 people have already placed orders for the electric vehicle, it claims.
The all-electric vehicle will offer a range of around 155 miles (250 km) before the battery depletes completely and it needs to recharge either via solar power or using a wall plug, the company said.
Sion was designed originally as an environmentally conscious car, but will also feature a number of feature designed around comfort to help it compete with other modern vehicles.
WHAT IS THE SION?
The Sion is a prototype vehicle being made by the German firm Sono Motors and it is set to be released in 2019.
There is a pre-order list of around 5,000 items.
Electricity and charging
Sion has solar cells integrated with its body panels, with a total of 330 dotted over the sides, bonnet and roof.
It will recharge when in use via the solar panels but can also be plugged in to traditional power outlets and other cars.
Under proper conditions the solar cells generate enough energy, to cover 18 miles (30 kilometres) per day with the Sion.
The company calls this system viSono.
Using bidirectional charging, the car can also be used to power other electrical items, including other cars.
Using a household plug, all common electronic devices with up to 2.7kW can be powered by the Sion.
It is capable of providing up to 7.6 kW when using a Type 2 plug.
A unique moss is integrated into the dashboard and used as a natural air filter.
A special lichen moss is used, which is known for its appealing look and excellent air filtration.
In spite of the naturalness of the moss, it actually requires no care, since the plant draws its water from the air, acting as a natural air conditioner.
The microstructures of moss binds fine dust particles from the air, so even in a big city, you can breathe fresh air.
Sono previously revealed that there will be two models available – the ‘Urban’ and the ‘Extender’ model.
Sono Motors claim the ‘Urban’ will travel 75 miles on a full charge.
The ‘Extender’ model will have a far greater range and can travel up to 115 miles on a single charge. This model will be more expensive.
The car is a six-seater, with three front seats, and three in the back, which can be flipped down to provide more room for storage.
The Sion is also capable, the company claims, of towing objects up to 1,650 pounds (750 kg).
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