Almost all the countries around the world are moving away from fuel-powered cars to get rid of carbon emission as well as to experience what the latest technologies such as electric vehicles have to offer.
However, increased adoption of EVs would require an additional electricity requirement. According to an EEA report, “Additional electricity generation will be required in the European Union to meet the extra energy demand arising from an 80% share of electric vehicles in 2050. The share of Europe’s total electricity consumption from electric vehicles will increase from approximately 0.03% in 2014 to around 4-5% by 2030 and 9.5% by 2050.” Deriving this additional energy requirement from our sun seems like a good idea.
According to another report, the global solar vehicle market is expected to be $329.5M (approx €270.1M) in 2023 and is projected to reach $4,087.6M (approx €3.4B) by 2030, registering a CAGR of 43.3%. Europe is estimated to reach $1,675.1M (approx €1.37B) by 2030, at a significant CAGR of 46.3%.
In a recent development, the Munich-based mobility provider has raised €45M in its Series C round of funding led by European institutional investors including Swedbank and DNCA – together with various family offices.
Joh. Berenberg, Gossler & Co. KG served as the company’s exclusive advisor on the transaction.
Speaking on the development, Torsten Kiedel, CFO of Sono Motors, says, “With this initial closing of our Series C financing, we are confident that our proprietary Vehicle Integrated PV (ViPV) technology, together with integrated Mobility Services, will provide the Sion with a distinctive competitive edge in the global EV markets.”
As a lead investor, Swedbank Robur supported the company through the Swedbank Robur Smabolag Europa fund, led by Mrs. Ulrika Enhorning. With more than €1B in assets under management, the fund has made notable investments in successful startups such as HelloFresh.
About Sono Motors
Founded by Jona Christians, Laurin Hahn, and Navina Pernsteiner in 2016, Sono Motors claims to make electric mobility more affordable and available for a much lower cost in a market where lack of charging infrastructure and perceived limited range is deterring its uptake.
The company has an experienced specialist team that is developing a forward-looking electric car that is suitable for daily use, with integrated solar cells and innovative mobility services – the Sion. Both, the integrated solar technology as well as the mobility services enable users to access clean mobility, harnessing solar energy, and reducing CO2 impacts.
The Sion is projected to be the first mass-produced Solar EV, for which the company has already collected more than 12,600 pre-orders.
According to the company, its manufacturing process enables the seamless integration of solar cells into the body of the Sion or other surfaces – the process is called Solar Integration. “In combination with the Solar Integration, we are creating an innovative charging solution. This enables the Sion to generate an additional range of up to 5,800 kilometres per year – using only solar energy. Completely free of emissions and free of charge,” says the company.
The technology’s characteristics include simple and cost-effective manufacturing by a third party, bi-directional charging (it generates and also provides energy), a range of 250 km on a full charge, and maintenance and mobility services. In addition, the company claims that it is shatterproof, light, and particularly weather-resistant which is due to a polycarbonate layer on the solar cells.
With 248 separate solar cells integrated into the chassis of the car, the Sion can charge itself for up to 34km a day in European weather conditions – enough for city commuters.
Currently, the company has more than 100 employees. The team combines international young talents and industry veterans, including former employees from BMW, Nissan Motor Company, Chrysler Group, DaimlerChrysler, Mercedes-Benz, FlixBus, and myTaxi.
Some of the Sion’s key feature include
- An electric vehicle that recharges through integrated solar panels in the chassis
- Natural Iceland moss to filter fine dust out of the cabin air
- An open-source repair and maintenance strategy
- Full CO2 compensation of the manufacturing process
- Pollutes 30% less CO2/100km and is over 60% more efficient in terms of energy used per kWh/100km in contrast to a car with a combustion engine
Previous funding and developments
Earlier this year in March, the mobility provider appointed Torsten Kiedel to the management board. In the role of CFO, his responsibility was to secure the company’s financing in the future and play a major role in the growth of Sono Motors in the coming years.
Kiedel, apart from over 15 years of management experience in areas such as risk management, corporate finance, and controlling, also has experience across finance departments at BMW. In addition, he also has 3 years experience at BMW Bank in the US, and 7 years of startup experience from management positions in the growth environment of companies including Flixbus and mytaxi (known as Free Now).
Prior to that in January 2020, the company had raised €53M in funding after one of the largest crowdfunding campaigns in European history, reported the company. Adding in the latest Series C, Sono Motors has raised approx €100M across equity and debt financing as well as paid reservations.
Earlier this year, the company had also said that it is planning to produce a total of 260,000 Sion over a period of eight years at the former Saab plant in Trollhattan, Sweden. Released its first-generation car prototype ‘Sion’ to the public in 2017, the company currently has 12,600 reservations for the car.