Remember the Sion solar electric car? The pure electric MPV developed by Germany’s Sono Motors is powered by solar energy. The EV startup claims to have terminated the project, which is now on sale. Going forward, Sono Motors wants to focus on a new business model in which it will specifically retrofit and integrate its solar technology into third-party vehicles.
What happens to Sono Sion’s 45,000 paid reservations as the project is cancelled? The EV company has announced a rewards program to compensate consumers who pre-order an EV. The company will refund consumers the pre-order amount in installments, including bonuses for the next two years.
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The EV startup revealed in a statement that it had to decide to abandon the project due to lack of funding. The company said the termination of the Sion solar electric vehicle project reflected its decision to focus on a capital-light business model amid a sluggish capital market. The startup further said that the Sion solar-powered electric car is a heavy burden on its budget, as an estimated 90% of the funding needed by 2023 comes from solar-powered passenger car projects.
It further states that Sono is now implementing an effective cost reduction program given the resource-intensive nature of the Sion program, including staffing requirements. As part of the decision, Sono Motors plans to lay off around 300 employees, the company revealed.
Sono Motors co-founder and CEO Laurin Hahn said the company will continue to use its Sion EV’s patented technology in other vehicles. However, it will no longer build complete vehicles. Instead, it plans to sell the project to potential buyers, which means we could see some traditional automaker or another EV startup come up with the project. “Although we had to terminate our original passion project, Sion plans to shift our entire focus to business-to-business solar solutions, providing us with the opportunity to continue creating innovative products in the solar space. It’s been a tough one decided that despite over 45,000 bookings and pre-orders for Sion, we had to respond to the ongoing financial market instability and streamline our operations,” said Sono CEO.
First published date: Feb 26, 2023 at 14:10 PM CST