Electric car

Sono shows how solar could save money installed on electric semis and buses

German startup Sono Motors plans to launch the Sion solar-assisted electrical automotive, but it surely’s additionally commercial-vehicle functions for its photo voltaic tech.

Sono demonstrated a number of such upfits on the 2022 IAA Transportation Present in Hannover, Germany, that the corporate claims can enhance the effectivity of buses and refrigerated vans.

Sono plans to market a package that permits current buses to be retrofitted with photo voltaic panels. Whereas a diesel engine nonetheless supplies propulsion, solar energy can be utilized to energy different techniques like local weather management, an organization press launch stated. The package was designed for compatibility with the Mercedes-Benz Citaro and MAN Lion Metropolis public transit buses—the preferred of their type in Europe, in response to Sono.

Refrigerated semi trailer with Sono photo voltaic panels


The corporate claims the 1.4-kilowatt peak energy of the photo voltaic panels can save as much as 396 gallons of diesel per bus per 12 months, and that homeowners will see a return on funding in roughly three to 4 years, relying on components like gasoline costs.

Sono additionally confirmed a number of refrigerated trailers on the IAA present with photo voltaic panels. Including panels to the roof and sides of a trailer might cowl as much as 50% of the refrigeration unit’s vitality wants on an annual foundation, Sono claims, including that the 9.8-kw set up exhibited on the present might generate 21.2 kwh of vitality yearly in Munich, Germany.

Refrigerated semi trailer with Sono solar panels

Refrigerated semi trailer with Sono photo voltaic panels


These installations seem like an easier answer than what Sono is utilizing to cowl all of its Sion physique panels. In that case, the panels are full built-in with the bodywork and add a claimed 152 miles of vary per week. The manufacturing Sion is because of be made in Finland, by Valmet, with manufacturing scheduled to begin within the second half of 2023.

With giant, flat surfaces, buses and semi trailers seem to be a superb match for photo voltaic panels. However why cease there?

Photo voltaic tonneau covers for pickups are one other chance—one that appears set to be an aftermarket accent in any case. Photo voltaic might be a superb answer for a lot of vans stops, too, as they pivot to servicing electrical vans.

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