Innovation That Matters

Solar-powered car uses moss as dashboard air filter

Mobility & Transport

German startup Sono Motors’ self-charging electric car is low maintenance, inexpensive and designed for bi-directional charging, providing electricity anywhere.

Having met its Indiegogo crowd funding goal, German startup Sono Motors is now producing the prototype of Sion, its solar-powered car. Integrated solar panels are covered in polycarbonate, making the vehicle strong and lightweight. Regardless of the weather, the solar cells absorb light, allowing the car to self-charge.

Inside the car, the design combines sustainability and decoration. Strips of moss are set into the dashboard and along the sides, providing clean air, sound proofing and fire protection. And because the plant draws water from the air, no care is needed. Designed to be as low maintenance a car as possible, instruction manuals and easy-to-order replacement parts are available online.

Both models of the Sion, an Urban and an Extender, reach nearly full charge in half an hour. Best of all, the charging is bi-directional, making Sion the perfect camping companion. With electric vehicle take-up fairly slow, a number of projects provide incentives, like this peer-to-peer network of charging docks and vehicle-to-grid power sales. What else could be done to make electric vehicles more convenient than gasoline-powered ones?



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