Sono Motors Scraps Plan for Sion Solar EV

What’s Happening: Sono Motors has announced a pivot in its business model to retrofit and exclusively integrate its solar technology onto third-party vehicles. The company will terminate its Sion passenger car program to focus on a capital-light business model.

Why It Matters: Sono Motors’ solar solutions, including hardware such as power electronics and software, are already used today. Fleet operators can integrate the technology to save fuel, costs, and CO2, contributing to the fight against climate change. The pivot will enable Sono Motors to continue creating innovative products in the solar space and focus on solar technology.

Key Points:

  • Sono Motors will exclusively retrofit and integrate solar technology onto third-party vehicles, terminating its Sion passenger car program.
  • 23 B2B customers across Europe, Asia, and the United States have piloted Sono Motors’ integrated solar technology on various vehicles.
  • The pivot to a capital-light business model reflects depressed capital market conditions, with an estimated 90% of the funding needs for 2023 generated by the Sion program.
  • Sono Motors will focus on buses and third-party OEM cars and scale up its technology, starting with introducing the next generation of its mass-market-ready retrofit solution for cleaner public transportation, the ‘Solar Bus Kit’ in Q2 2023.
  • Sono Motors has secured €1.46 million in funding from the EU Commission’s European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (‘CINEA’) to advance the development of the Company’s proprietary solar technology.
  • The company has filed or been granted 52 patents, 42 of which are for its proprietary solar technology.
  • Sono Motors will utilize patented technology developed in its ongoing integration and retrofit business and intends to sell its Sion program.
  • Approximately 300 employees will be made redundant, and COO Thomas Hausch will step down from his role but support the company’s transition.

Bottom Line: Sono Motors’ pivot to retrofitting solar technology onto third-party vehicles exclusively will allow the company to focus on a capital-light business model, create innovative solar products, and contribute to the fight against climate change. The company’s decision to terminate the Sion program will result in significant cost savings and enable it to scale up its technology for cleaner public transportation.


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