Solar electric vehicle (SEV) vendor Sono Motors has successfully performed its first complete vehicle crash test, a legal requirement for selling the cars commercially.
The goal of the test was to see how Sono Motors’ polymer-based vehicle-integrated solar technology, which covers the entire body of its Sion vehicle, can withstand a heavy frontal crash and not splinter or cause additional danger to passengers or other road users.
Sono Motors plans to conduct about 300 physical component, sled and complete vehicle tests to confirm the result of years of crash simulations. This will help the Sion to comply with all legal requirements for pedestrian and passenger safety to commercially sell the solar EVs.
This first test was conducted at Sono Motors’ partner facility at CSI in Italy with the Sion that included solar panels, painted green to ensure the vehicle is high contrast for more accurate evaluation.
Last year, Sono Motors revealed it has 42,000 reservations for its Sion SEV. The vehicle is expected to retail in Europe for about $25,000 and production is slated for the second half of 2023.
The Sion will run 190 miles on its standard EV battery. But the integrated 456 solar half-cells extend the time between charges to an estimated 70 miles per week in typical weather conditions and by as much as 150 miles per week in optimal conditions, Sono Motors said.
The Sion contains a 54 kWh LFP battery for charging capacity up to 75 kW for DC chargers and 11 kW for AC chargers. The bidirectional charging of 11 kW will turn Sion into a device that can charge other batteries such as another EV or put energy back into the public energy grid.
The SEV also contains advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) such as forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, attention assist, rear view camera and traffic sign assist.