Solar-powered cars: Production of the ambitious 'Sion' set for 2023

Solar-powered cars: Production of the ambitious 'Sion' set for 2023
Sion solar car. Credit: Sono Motors

'Sion' is a car covered with solar panels and will be mass-produced in the second half of 2023, announced German start-up Sono Motors.

The family vehicle is covered with 456 photovoltaic cells and the model promises to absorb enough energy every week to drive 112 km/h on average, although its speed can increase to 305 km. It will incorporate a 'vehicle-to-grid' system that will allow its battery to restore electricity to the network or another car.

The solar-powered vehicle comes as EU lawmakers agreed on a bill to restrict the production of new diesel cars by 2035 in June. The legislation was proposed by the Commission and narrowly agreed on in the European Parliament, but has yet to become final as the text needs to go through the Council first.

The goal is to speed up Europe's pivot to electric vehicles and motivate car manufacturers to invest in electric cars and other sustainable forms of transport, helped by another EU law that will mandate countries to create millions of chargers for vehicles.

Car manufacturers understand user demand, as electric car sales in Europe overtook diesel models for the first time in December 2021.

UN data from the start of 2022 suggests that over 20% of new cars sold in Europe and the UK in December 2021 were electric, while the sale of diesel cars in the EU went below 19%. Norway is in the lead, as 80% of all new vehicles sold there are electric.

Cars are currently responsible for 12% of all Co2 emissions of the bloc's 27 members, while transportation as a whole accounts for around 25%.

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