Germany’s Sono Motors confirmed on Thursday that it has 20,000 direct-to-consumer reservations for its upcoming Sion solar-supplemented EV which, if you don’t drive much, may rarely cost you any “gasoline .”

Sono said the Sion, which should be manufactured by Finland’s Valmet Automotive starting in the second half of 2023, has the potential to be the world’s first solar electric car “for the masses.”

Its price fits that billing. The Sion costs 29,900 euros ($29,700), and the company says that after subsidies in its own market the “net sales price point” is 25,126 euros ($25,000). The company plans to build 257,000 of them over a seven-year period.

Sono Sion production model

Sono Sion production model

In July, Sono unveiled the production-ready Sion. Compared to previous prototypes, it has revised exterior and interior styling, and the headlights, taillights, door handles, and rear fascia are new, as is the charge port. Inside, the seats and steering wheel have been swapped out for different designs, and the interior has been reconfigured for more space.

In production form, the Sion can add an average of 70 miles of range per week from 456 solar half-cells, or 152 miles in ideal conditions, charging its 54-kwh lithium-iron phosphate (LFP) battery pack to 190 miles of range, possible. Sion also has 75-kw DC fast charging and can act as a home power bank with 11-kw AC bidirectional capability.

Sono Sion with wallbox

Sono Sion with wallbox

The Sion isn’t the only car with solar. But the Sion is noteworthy as the only production model, referring to mass production, that uses every panel of the body for solar energy. It may also be one of the first to do so while selling in volume.

By 2025, the Netherlands-based company Lightyear plans to expand beyond the expensive Lightyear 0 niche model, with a Lightyear Two. Aptera claims up to 1,000 miles of range on its “never-charge” three-wheeler, which doesn’t really count as a car.

There are also upcoming affordable models that claim to have a solar roof—the Fisker Pear EV, for example.

The Sion is notable because it takes a format that mainstream automakers refuse to create: an affordable urban EV, with solar supplementation, with a long body and a spacious cabin that makes it perfect. for ride-hailing.

Sono Sion electric car solar panel placement

Sono Sion electric car solar panel placement

In the US, affordable EV options are limited, and lower-priced EVs are hardly technology leaders. Perhaps, with the changes in the supply chain prompted by the revised EV tax credit, we may see this change. If no other company steps up, it’s possible that a later version or model from Sono might work Stateside, though Sono has said Green Car Reports in 2019 that to save development costs the first car was designed for Europe.

Sono solar solution for commercial vehicles

Sono solar solution for commercial vehicles

Sono could expand its reach into the commercial sector sooner, though. In July, Sono announced its Solar Bus Kit, which is a “standardized, scalable retrofit solution for diesel buses.” Later this month, at the IAA Transportation show in Hanover, Germany, it will be detailing this technology and showing several solar-integrated prototypes, including refrigerated trailers, e-buses, and e-transporters.

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