Sono Motors has presented its newest solar prototype together with ARI Motors. Sono Motors has installed PV technology on the so-called "ARI 458 Kofferaufbau, L", a light electric vehicle designed for last-mile delivery and urban transportation in cities, parks, industrial areas or airports. Five photovoltaic (PV) modules made of ultra-thin, chemically-stressed front glass will provide up to 450 watts of energy at peak performance to provide power to the vehicle. The solar integration will give the vehicle a daily average of 20 km of additional range under normal weather conditions in Munich, and up to 48 km at peak weather conditions in summer months.
"Sono Solar - Sono Motors' B2B unit - is a one-stop-shop for vehicle integrated photovoltaics (ViPV) and our aim is to make every vehicle a solar vehicle. The Intersolar exhibition is the perfect platform to show our proprietary technology and services and we are very pleased to be able to present existing partnerships and prototypes like the electric ARI transporter," says Mathieu Baudrit, Sono Solar Group Lead at Sono Motors. "This is especially exciting for us, as this is one of the first commercial vehicles in this segment on the streets with our solar integration," Baudrit adds.
Sono Motors offers both vehicle integrated photovoltaics (ViPV) and vehicle applied photovoltaics (VaPV) solutions to various modes of transportation. ViPV is the process in which solar energy generation is integrated into a vehicle's body. PV panels are incorporated into parts of the vehicle such as the sides, body panels and fenestration. For further information see the IDTechEx report on Solar Vehicles 2021-2041 2nd Edition.
For the cooperation with ARI Motors, the design of the first prototype involves applying PV technology to an existing vehicle. Thus, the VaPV process is used. The five PV modules with 54 solar cells and 90 half cells are applied onto the vehicle's roof and sides. The whole integration is designed for high efficiency. Therefore, Sono Motors will provide customized PV panels, design the integration layout as well as perform mechanical and electrical integration with their team of engineers in Munich and offer maintenance.
"The solar integration solutions provided by Sono Motors are the perfect fit for our light vehicle box as it enables us to reduce the vehicle's dependency on charging infrastructure as well as extend its range and reduce costs. We look forward to working with Sono Motors in the future to make our vehicles even more sustainable," says Thomas Kuwatsch, CFO of ARI Motors.
Sono Motors also announced a Letter of Intent to collaborate with Wallaby Boats GmbH, a commercial boat OEM, to install PV onto their boat "Wallaby 18" which transports personnel and material for offshore windparks. "The company's values around reducing fuel consumption and promoting greener commercial boats are a great fit for Sono Motors' first maritime OEM project," Baudrit says. PV modules will be installed to provide up to 5,200 Wp of power to the boat. "This collaboration further advances Sono's 'solar on every vehicle' goal and is a clear demonstration of the multiple applications of the company's proprietary solar technology," Baudrit adds.
Source and top image: Sono Motors