Solar cars are like sunny days—always waiting for tomorrow.
Now the dawn may be breaking on that tomorrow with the small, crowd-funded Sono Sion solar car in Germany.
The company has raised enough online funding to begin testing, according to a Reuters report carried by Autoblog.
The car is mainly battery-powered, but the roof, doors, and hood are covered with 330 solar cells. The battery has a total range of 155 miles between charges.
Sono Sion solar charged electric car
Sono believes the solar cells can provide about 18 miles of that range a day in the summertime (such as the heatwave blanketing Europe this summer). In the winter, the solar range could drop to as little as three miles a day, but drivers can still plug the car in and get the full 155 miles of range.
The Sion's solar panels are embedded in the car's polycarbonate body panels.
Sono's founder and CEO Laurin Hahn says the car could be a good solution for apartment dwellers who don't have a place to plug it in.
Hahn said the car will have seat heaters and air conditioning, a smartphone connection, as well as automatic emergency braking and other safety features to get a top score in European crash tests.
The company is preparing to take the Sion on tour of 42 cities in 10 countries to demonstrate the concept and give people an opportunity to drive it.
Sono plans to introduce the car late in 2019, and says it already has 5,000 orders at a price of $18,540.