For a while, Sono was seen as an innovative start-up that could shake up the car market in Germany. The company failed again and again because of the high expectations – now finally.
In the home country of car manufacturers, a new manufacturer always attracts attention. This was also the case when Sono Motors used crowdfunding in 2016 to raise money for the company’s most important project: the founders wanted to build a “solar car for everyone”, a self-charging electric car at an affordable price.
That was also the USP of Sono Motors Sion: solar modules attached to large areas of the body were intended to distinguish the Sion from all other conventional electric cars. The modules should bring a range of up to 30 kilometers per day, the price of the car is just 16,000 euros. With these promises, Sono Motors collected more than half a million euros.
sun in the tank
Solar car Sion: Sono Motors shows the final design of the German e-car
Sono Motors: Lots of promises, little kept
Logical: Back then, the market for electric cars alone was still manageable. From BMW there was the i3, from VW the e-Golf – that was practically the entire range of German car manufacturers. As promising as Sono’s ideas were, the company struggled to implement them. Even more than six years later, the Sion is not yet available, test drives recently made a disastrous impression.
After further rounds of financing amounting to tens of millions of euros, a campaign to raise funds was launched again in recent weeks. According to Sono Motors, interested parties and investors should have paid 100 million euros for the construction of a pre-series – but this project has now failed and with it the construction of the Sion itself, as Sono Motors announced: Because of the lack of financing, the Sion is now finally being scrapped, around 300 employees lose their jobs.
For the more than 45,000 pre-orders, there is at least halfway comforting news: They should get their money back – but only in installments and staggered over two years. Sono itself focuses on solar roofs for buses and trucks. This business is less capital intensive and is already generating sales.
Sources:, starTwitter, with dpa
I’m a recent graduate of the University of Missouri with a degree in journalism. I started working as a news reporter for 24 Hours World about two years ago, and I’ve been writing articles ever since. My main focus is automotive news, but I’ve also written about politics, lifestyle, and entertainment.