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German Startup Offers Test Drives In Their Solar-Powered Cars

By Brian Spaen

Tesla’s Elon Musk doesn’t believe we’re at the stage of adding solar panels to our cars, but that hasn’t stopped one German startup. Sono Motors has created the Sion, an electric vehicle that has panels plastered all over the unit. While it’s likely not enough power to plan a roadtrip with them, it’s certainly one of the more affordable options that could get people by who have short commutes. And even if you're not ready to commit to an EV, you still have the chance to take one for a test-drive.

Sono Motors officially unveiled the new car at a release event back on July 27th in front of 700 people. From August 18th through October 30th, the company will be sending out a test-drive prototype for those that want to experience the Sion hands-on. The press release states that it will stop “in at least 12 cities and 7 countries.” There will be two different versions of the vehicle, the “Model I Extender” and “Model II Urban,” and people can place preorders now.

The Sion was crowdfunded successfully on Indiegogo, raising nearly $650,000 US. It reached 120 percent of its goal, showing that people were very interested in the surprisingly affordable electric vehicle. The Model I features a range of 155 miles and costs just $17,600 US. They also note that it’s geared toward “families and city commuters of the middle class.” Its partner, the Model II, is about half the range and is listed at $13,200 US.