MAN companions with Sono Motors to check PV integration into electrical van

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Before the planned production of its electric family car with a PV battery next year, the German startup Sono Motors is working with MAN Truck & Bus to test the integration of solar cells in an electric van.

MAN launched an electric version of its diesel-powered high-roof freight transporter back in 2018. The rear-wheel drive eTGE van has a loading capacity of 10.3 m3 (364 ft3) in the rear or up to 950 kg (over 2,000 lb) and can achieve this thanks to a 100 kW motor with a torque of 290 Nm (214 lb .ft) a maximum speed of 90 km / h is reached. The 35.8 kWh Li-ion battery should achieve a WLTP range of 110 to 115 km per charge, which, according to MAN, is based on driving at predominantly high speeds.

The company also says that depending on the annual mileage, the electric panel van could be more economical to drive than its equivalent diesel sibling, and that it could pay for itself in around four years.

And this vehicle in the standard configuration will serve as a test bench for Sono Solar technology, a station wagon version with air conditioning on the roof and another with a cooling system. The partnership will investigate whether the polymer-based embedded solar cells on the roof and side walls can either provide additional range for the superstructure or for auxiliary systems such as air conditioning.

The polymer-based photovoltaic cells developed by Sono Motors will be used commercially for the first time in the Sion family car, which is scheduled to go into production in 2022

MAN Truck & Bus

The 248 photovoltaic modules integrated into the Sion family car, which Sono Motors estimates will go into production next year, have the potential to achieve a range of 34 km per day under ideal sunbathing conditions. All in all, the car’s battery is up to 255 km long in the WLTP cycle.

It remains to be seen how much additional range the solar cell setup offers for the eTGE panel van and air conditioning / cooling variants. However, the larger space available could make the offer attractive to fleet operators looking to reduce the cost of inner-city parcel delivery.

“It is a great opportunity for Sono Motors to partner with an industry partner as respected as MAN and work together for a more sustainable future,” said Jona Christians, Co-Founder and CEO of Sono Motors.

Dennis Affeld from MAN added: “We will pool our common know-how and know-how to test various prototypes with vehicle-integrated photovoltaic technology. The aim is to find out how much energy is gained from PV technology over the course of the year We can then assess whether the technology is paying off for our customers and at the same time helping to protect the environment. “

Source: MAN

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