Speaker 1: Wanna blow folks minds at a party one day soon. Tell 'em you were in a solar electric car and they'll say, Wait a minute. If that's even possible, why aren't they all solar? Sounds like a great idea, right? Here's one of the first that could be coming to the us, the sono cion. Let's take a look and find out what these kinds of vehicles can do and can't do.
Speaker 1: [00:00:30] First off, a solar car is not able to do via the sun what a Tesla can do. If they could. Elon Musk would be selling peanuts at ball games. Instead, solar cars create a sort of solar grid hybrid. Now the cion doesn't just have a solar panel on the roof or something like a few production cars do. That's for like charging your phone or running a fan. This thing is serious solar almost everywhere. Roof [00:01:00] hood and most of the lateral panels around the vehicle and they do it like so. I mean, here's a compound piece of the polymer they use underneath. You can see where the solar's been mounted to it. So they didn't just take and build a car and then stick some kind of adhesive solar panels to it. This is all integral stuff. And by the way, because it's made of polymer, no dents in the parking lot, solar panels don't make for the prettiest thing. But Sono does say the production [00:01:30] models will at least have an even shade of black on this. So model that worked out okay for Ford when they were getting started. Now all those panels feed a 54 kilowatt hour lithium iron phosphate battery. That chemistry is particularly good at having a lot of charge cycles and discharge cycles. Uh, it gets into 163 horsepower powertrain, front wheel drive only. And what most people are gonna be concerned about is what's the range? Here's where things get interesting.
Speaker 1: [00:02:00] Now the fully charged range is 190 miles, but blended with that in sort of an either or is some solar range. They estimate that you'd get 5,400 miles of solar driving per year in an area like Northern California where I am maybe a few hundred more in sunnier places, that is about 70 to 150 miles a week, or about 10 to 20 miles a day. Now I'm couching that for a reason because [00:02:30] solar range as part of the overall range is highly variable. What time of year is it? What was the weather like in terms of cloud movement? Where did you park this thing? Was it really in the sun and facing it or kind of down a dark alley one day? The bottom line is you can always charge this as a standard ev that 190 miles, you can get 80% of that in about a half an hour on a DC fast charge, or you can charge it in a few hours. Level two very common stuff. So it's not like you're stuck with solar or any of its variabilities. You just have that as [00:03:00] another greener way to get around conditions approving.
Speaker 1: How should someone think about solar in an electric car? What role does it play?
Speaker 2: Think about a gasoline car. I would sell you with 5,000 to 6,000 miles for free every single year. Someone puts gasoline in your tank. Wouldn't that be a great selling gasoline car? This [00:03:30] is exactly with solar. It gives you five to six, 6,000 miles on range for an average for free from the sun. Think about it as a second car for people having their car in a driveway. Uh, for commuters and for families. This is the perfect family car dropping off the kids at school going grocery shopping.
Speaker 1: Now the [00:04:00] Zion's got a couple other tricks up its sleeve thanks to connectivity and energy going the other way. First, connectivity. When this car launches in Europe, first they're going to have this ability to do car share because one of the big ideas by an electric cars is higher utilization. It's one of the best ways to earn back the r and d on electrifying vehicles or autonomy for that matter. Different story is to use cars more instead of having them sit 96% of their lives, which is literally the number. So they will have a built in platform for this vehicle where [00:04:30] you can do keyless sharing. I might only be comfortable sharing it with my family, but if you want you can share it with strangers and get a little bit of payment for doing that. The other trick it's got is out of that front port, you can also send power out.
Speaker 1: You can set the dashboard screen to how much you're willing to drain the car while doing this, preserving some of your driving mileage. We just did a story about home batteries. You may have seen it and a lot of folks were saying, okay, those are kind of expensive, but what if you got home battery backup built into your car? [00:05:00] It's kind of free that way, especially if you buy one of these. It is expected to be priced at $25,000 US msrp, not including federal tax credit because it may not qualify for one at first because production is initially gonna be handled by Valette in Finland and the current US regulation is you gotta have a US built car to get the credit, but at 25 grand, does anybody really care.