Sono Motors has killed off its Sion EV in a pivot to solar tech business

Sono Motors, a German-based company that went public in November 2022, has announced they are ending their long-awaited electric car program and instead pivoting to a business that aims to sell its solar vehicle technology to other companies. This shift is driven by their high-cost EV program and quickly depleting capital. As a result of the change in business model, 300 employees have been laid off and COO Thomas Hausch is leaving his position. Sono Motors aims to retrofit and integrate their solar technology, which includes power electronics and software, onto commercial vehicles such as buses as well as cars produced by OEMs. The company has 23 business-to-business customers piloting their integrated solar technology on a range of vehicles and is working with Mitsubishi Europe, CHEREAU and Volkswagen subsidiaries Scania and MAN Truck & Bus. They plan to release the ‘Solar Bus Kit’ in the second quarter of 2023. Sono Motors began in 2016 when co-founders sought a way to reduce society’s dependence on fossil fuels and build an electric passenger vehicle that was partially powered by the sun. Despite 45,000 reservations and pre-orders for the Sion, they were compelled to react to the ongoing financial market instability and streamline their business.

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