Updated: Nov 11, 2022
While Tesla has its fan community, committed to brand, stock and social media, an EV start-up from the same city as BMW is powering-up its electric car ambitions, backed no-less by its own loyal community. Munich-based Sono Motors, founded in 2016, by two young green-thinking entrepreneurs – that make it far too easy to call them the Musks of Munich – have amassed over 13,000 pre-orders of its SAV (Solar Activity Vehicle) that isn't set to join European markets until 2023. It is still in the prototype/mule phase, and driven over a short distance by this report, can on average add 112km of solar generated range to its 54kWh battery per week according to the company . More in the summer and less in the winter.
Hyundai claim 2,000km of solar generated power per year can be added via its optional solar roof on the IONIQ 5, or one third the amount of the Sono.
Just under half as much reservation generated cash as the Tesla Cybertruck so far The vehicle, that is encased with in-house designed solar cells, has so far amassed €271 million from pre-order book value sales, while a solid €39 million has been generated from 13,000 reservations at around €3,000 per reservation. To compare that to Tesla's Cybertruck that is just under half the value from the reported one million Cybertruck reservations at just $100 per reservation, equating to $100 million, or €84 million.
Opportunity for EU CO2 pool generated revenue? In another similarity to Tesla – Europe's number three BEV brand last year with 98,000 new registrations – Sono has the EU CO2 pooling system in its sights as a potential to gain additional traction especially as 2025 CO2 targets may tighten further with proposals to be announced by the EU mid-July.
Already been approached by other OEMs regarding CO2 pooling deals This would potentially have OEMs searching for pool partners from 2025 again, with Sono confirming to this report that they have already been approached by other OEMs regarding CO2 pooling deals.
Tesla raised over $0.5bn from global regulatory credits during this year's first quarter.
Start of production at former Saab plant from H1 2023
Production takes place from H1 2023 at the former Swedish Saab production plant, under a licensing deal with current owner's NEVS. Annual production is set to be around 40,000 per year – which would have made it a top-5 European BEV model last year. The total production run cycle is set at 0.26 million units with 5 per cent of those already having a paid reservation. Sono is touting its solar recharging technology as its unique selling point in what is becoming a crowded European electric car market, with over 50 different BEV models now available. However none of those offer the solar charging capabilities to the scale as the Sion.
Available in any colour, as long as it's black
Highly standardised and available in any colour, as long as it's black, helps achieve
greater economies of scale resulting in a European €25,500 entry price, before subsidies. No paint shop is required, thanks to the vehicle's matt-black exterior being plastered in semi-flexible solar panels resulting in a distinctive understated appearance.
The five-seater, can travel 305km (WLTP) on a single charge, less if the bidirectional charging is used for powering electric grills in the summer! However could the car end up being a side-show while the solar part of the company drawers attention from other sectors? Powered by the sun, two shoots can potentially sprout out of this acorn yet.
The European Electric Car Flash Report is available on a monthly basis here. *Western Europe 18 Markets: EU Member States prior to the 2004 enlargement plus EFTA markets Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, plus UK