Sono Motors, a Germany-based EV startup, is announcing plans to expand in the Netherlands with its solar-powered electric car: the Sion.

The Sion is equipped with both a battery pack, which can be charged like a regular electric car, and also a system of integrated solar cells that can charge the vehicle – albeit slower.

Sono describes the system:

“The Sion is equipped with 330 integrated solar cells, which recharge the battery through the power of the sun. To protect them from harmful environmental influences we covered the solar cells with polycarbonate. It is shatterproof, light and particularly weather resistant. Under proper conditions the solar cells generate enough energy, to cover 30 kilometers per day with the Sion. We call this system viSono.”

That’s ~18 miles of range added to the vehicle’s ~155 miles (250 km) range from the battery pack, according to the company.

The startup is now announcing plans to enter the Dutch market and to conduct “another series of test drives of the Sion electric car encompassing a total of 18 cities in the Netherlands and Germany.”

Laurin Hahn, CEO and one of the founders of Sono Motors, commented on the announcement:

‘We passed the 5,000 reservations mark in June, thereby wrapping up a crucial phase. This tour is our way of catering to the overwhelming demand for test drives. We will therefore be offering additional test drives in our core market of Germany again on our way to the Netherlands. The Netherlands itself is a very interesting market for us as it is considered a pioneer in the field of electromobility. We therefore believe there is a great deal of potential for an electric car like the Sion and we look forward to entering the market,’

The price of the Sion is €16,000 (~$18,000 USD), but buyers would have to pay an additional fee to acquire the battery pack or pay a monthly fee – similar to the scheme used by Renault with the Zoe in France.

Sono Motors says that the Sion electric car will go into series production in 2019.

Here are the planned test drive events:

  • Fürth (1–2 September 2018),
  • Darmstadt (3–4 September 2018),
  • Siegburg (Bonn) (5–6 September 2018),
  • Maastricht (7–8 September 2018),
  • Eindhoven (9–10 September 2018),
  • Delft (11–12 September 2018),
  • Almere (13–14 September 2018),
  • Groningen (15–16 September 2018),
  • Hengelo (19–20 September 2018),
  • Detmold (21–22 September 2018),
  • Hildesheim (23–24 September 2018),
  • Göttingen (25–26 September 2018),
  • Fulda (27–28 September 2018),
  • Heilbronn (29–30 September 2018),
  • Memmingen (3–4 October 2018),
  • Weilheim / eRUDA (5 October 2018),
  • Passau (9–11 October 2018)
  • Munich (13 October 2018).

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