Sono Has a Bright Idea

One of the types of energy for transportation that doesn’t get very much attention is solar. Certainly unless you live in Arizona or some place like that solar tech is probably not as efficient as plugging in an electric vehicle and letting the grid do the work. Yet when it comes to renewable energy for transportation, the Sun is more beneficial than the Local Electric Utility.

Sono Motors, a German company, is working to develop solar-powered transportation, as in the Sion, a solar-powered passenger car for which it has more than 18,000 reservations.

But it also sees other applications.

Delivery vehicle uses solar energy. (Image: Sono Motors)

So the company, looking to amass data on how well solar works in places including Berlin, Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern—which are certainly not Phoenix, Tucson or Sedona—is working with the Rhenus Group, a logistics service provider, integrating solar modules onto a 15-tonne test vehicle that will be used for last-mile logistics.

Jonas von Frieling, Head of Innovation Hub for the Rhenus Home Delivery and Rhenus High Tech, points out, “If there is a widespread switch in transport to electric drives, supply must grow accordingly. Solar cells on vehicles could relieve the grid in the process and offer respite for fleet managers by easing the burden on charging infrastructure.”

A point that would be beneficial for other logistics providers to take into account as they make their transitions to EVs. Wherever they’re located.