Solar-powered vehicle developer Sono has now secured a total of €100 million ($A161 million) in funding after adding an additional €45 million ($72.5 million) to the kitty this week through its Series C funding round.
The results of latest funding round, announced on Wednesday (Europe time), means that Sono can continue its mission to commercialise the Sion solar-powered electric car, for which it has already collected more than 12,600 pre-orders.
Led by an esteemed list of European investment firms including Swedbank and DNCA, the latest cash injection will be added to €53 million collected by the company in January via a crowdfunding campaign that exceeded expectations.
Sono’s Sion, the vehicle at the heart of so much interest, harvests power straight from the sun via solar panels integrated into its exterior panels.
Sono says the solar panels can add up to 34km range per day purely from solar energy, to be stored in its 35kWh battery. In October it partnered with the Fraunhofer Institute to certify its solar cells.
Sono says the latest capital raising will help it develop a competitive product. The purchase price of the Sion is currently listed at €25,500 ($A41,085 converted) and can be reserved for €500 ($A805 converted).
“We are very proud of the positive feedback Sono has received from investors, as they continue to embrace clean technology innovation. This initial closing of our Series C financing is a testament to the confidence investors have in the Sion and its expected contribution to a more sustainable world,” said Torsten Kiedel, chief financial officer for Sono Motors in a statement.
“We are confident that our proprietary Vehicle Integrated PV (ViPV) technology, together with integrated Mobility Services, will provide the Sion with a distinctive competitive edge in the global EV markets.”
The Swedbank Robur component of the funding was financed through the firm’s Småbolag Europa fund, said Swedbank fund manager Ulrika Enhorning.
“We are delighted to announce that Swedbank Robur has decided to invest in Sono Motors, the German-based developer of Solar Electric Vehicles. We are especially proud to take the role as a lead investor and become part of the company’s journey to disrupt the strongly growing EV market with its revolutionary solar technology,” said Enhorning in a statement.
“The investment fits very well with our fund Swedbank Robur Småbolagsfond Europa and our ambitions to actively shape the transition towards a more sustainable future.”
Alongside Swedbank, DNCA participated in the round. “DNCA are extremely excited to join Sono Motors on its mission to bring Solar Electric Vehicles into the mass market. We believe that Sono is well-positioned to capitalize on the promising market opportunity and are delighted to be leading this funding round,” says Rajesh Varma, fund nanager of DNCA Invest Beyond Global Leaders.
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model Y and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.