IAA Voices: Interview Sono Motors

An interview with Lars Löhle, Head of Product Sono Solar at Sono Motors.

Lars Löhle, Sono Motors

What does Sono stand for and what should every IAA visitor know about the company?

Our mission is to fundamentally change global mobility and to equip every vehicle with solar cells to contribute to a world without fossil fuels. And we are not only pursuing this mission with the Sion, our pioneering electric car with integrated solar cells, but also with our proprietary solar technology for commercial vehicles. In the commercial vehicle sector technology can power systems such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) or even the high-voltage battery with locally-generated renewable energy, reducing costs, CO2 emissions and dependence on charging infrastructure.

There are currently 21 B2B partnerships with leading transport companies such as Kögel, Mitsubishi (MTTE), Wingliner and MVG. We have already delivered the first prototypes to some customers and partners, such as a solar bus for the Munich transport association MVV or a solar refrigerated trailer for CHEREAU - we will present further new prototypes, especially in the area of refrigerated trailers, at this year's IAA Transportation.

What is the company's most important project for 2022/23?

In 2023 we will focus on expanding our B2B solar business. Various B2B projects with our partners from the logistics industry and public transport are already in the test phase on public roads. In addition, we want to bring the Sion, the first affordable solar electric car for private transport, into series production.

What makes the trade fair so appealing to you?

The themes of the IAA Transportation this year revolve primarily around sustainable, future-proof technologies. This makes the trade fair the ideal platform to present us, our technology and partner projects. Sono solar technology is suitable for many vehicle architectures and makes a significant contribution to reducing emissions with free energy. Whether it is retrofitting existing fleets or integrating it into new vehicles with alternative drive types in production, we have developed the solutions.

What can IAA visitors particularly look forward to at your stand?

At our stand we will be presenting the Solar Bus Kit, a technology solution that can be used for retrofitting diesel buses. The special feature here is that the kit will be on display in individual parts. This will give visitors a transparent introduction to our pioneering technology. In addition, several vehicles equipped with our solar technology will be on display on the stands of our MTTE, Wingliner and CHEREAU will be on display. Here we will be offering visitors a tour so that they can directly see how our solution is used. Interested parties can register for the tour here

The coming years will be dominated by transformation. Where will the transport and logistics industry be in 2030 - and what milestones do you want to have achieved by then?

If the growth of freight transport is to be combined with the achievement of the climate targets by 2030, the use of low-emission technologies in the transport sector must increase. Solar technology is, in our opinion, a logical and promising instrument for the rapid reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and meeting C02 fleet targets. It is an answer to many of the current challenges facing the industry, such as increasing fuel and energy costs, range and charging restrictions for electric vehicles, and emissions restrictions and regulations for fleet operators.

We see solar energy as a real driver and enabler for the electrification of vehicle fleets, making it more accessible, affordable and sustainable. Our retrofit solution for diesel buses - the Solar Bus Kit - is the short and medium term solution for us in this regard until electrification is fully completed. With an expected payback of 3-4 years, the retrofit is worth for fleet operators after only a short period of time.


About the company

Sono Motors has set itself the task of fundamentally revolutionising global mobility. The mission is to equip every vehicle with solar cells. The company's proprietary solar technology has been developed to enable seamless integration into a wide range of vehicle types, including buses, trucks and trailers. This can increase ranges, lower fuel costs and reduce CO₂ emissions.

Sono Motors' Sion has the potential to become the world's first affordable solar electric vehicle (SEV) for the masses. Supported by a strong international community, Sono Motors recorded more than 20,000 paid reservations as of 1 September 2022 for the Sion.