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This solar-charging Tesla rival already has $300 million in pre-orders

Sonos Motors Sion
(Image credit: Sonos Motors)

Sono Motors is German automaker that's differentiating itself from the rest of the EV space by including solar panels on its cars. And its upcoming EV, the Sion, has more than 13,000 pre-orders with $331 million in sales. 

That news comes way of MarketWatch (opens in new tab) which claims an IPO could be around the corner. While the Sion is still in the prototype stage, it's been an enticing enough vehicle to warrant a strong number of pre-orders.

At the moment, the EV is expected to hit Europe in 2023. Unfortunately, the company has not announced plans for a U.S. release though Sono Motors has tweeted about the possibility of selling in Canada, which if realized, could then make a U.S. release much likelier. 

What sets the Sion apart from the Tesla Model 3 or Ford Mustang Mach-E are the solar panels that blanker the car. The solar panels alone can add 69 miles after a week of baking in the sun. That might not sound like a lot, but for people who tend to only go on short grocery runs, they potentially may never need to plug in the Sion. 

The only other EV out right now that offers solar panels is the Hyundai Ioniq 5. Granted, that solar panel is only over the roof, adding a potential 1,242 miles of range per year. 

Apart from its solar panels, the Sion does have a 54kWh battery, which can be charged the traditional way. A fully charged battery can give the Sion a 190 mile range. Not bad for a compact car that's expected to cost $30,000. 

To reserve a Sion, you need to make a $3,000 deposit. Still, Sono Motors has a long way to go before it can really take on Tesla and its rabid base of fans. 

At the moment, the Tesla Cybertruck alone has amassed more than 1 million pre-orders according to Electrek (opens in new tab). We're also hoping that Sion buyers don't receive death threats (opens in new tab) from hardcore Tesla fans the same way at least one Mustang Mach-E owner did. 

Imad is currently Senior Google and Internet Culture reporter for CNET, but until recently was News Editor at Tom's Guide. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with the New York Times, the Washington Post, ESPN, Wired and Men's Health Magazine, among others. Outside of work, you can find him sitting blankly in front of a Word document trying desperately to write the first pages of a new book.