Virtually free travel is only a small % efficiency away as crowd funded solar car, the Sono Sion is ready to go to market
Since the first large scale solar panels broke 20% efficiency, the cut line to make it worth putting on top of your house, car manufacturers have worked towards a solar powered car using the same technology.
Toyota, for the latest generation Toyota Prius, reinstalled a solar roof that can on a sunny day account for 10% of the range of the car.
In addition, it tops up the starter battery and will run the fan to cool the car. The latest version is 180 watts rather than the first versions 50 watts.
When Toyota can increase this to 300 watts and we eventually increase efficiency of the panels themselves, even the Prius will have 5 miles range free of charge.
Enter the crowd-funded Sono
With fully charged batteries, the Sion has a range of over 150 miles. But Sono have covered the car in 330 small panels, including the bonnet, roof and doors to charge the batteries.
On a sunny day the system is already capable of creating a free of charge range of nearly 20 miles, Sono have a target of 30 miles within two years. With changes in panel efficiency this will increase but of course in Winter, it will rely on home charging. But, a battery pack at home, with solar panels dedicated to charging it, could give you the range you need, free of charge every day.
Due to launch in 2019, the Sion will have more on-board tech than you might expect, including air-conditioning, emergency breaking, seat heating and a top score on the European standards for crash tests.
Personally, we at CarLease UK can’t wait.