Sono Motors equips first bus with PV retrofit solution


From pv magazine Germany

German vehicle-integrated PV (VIPV) specialist Sono Motors has shifted its focus to photovoltaic solutions for vehicles, following the discontinuation of its Sion solar EV project in February.

The Munich-based company has initiated a pilot project in Hof, Bavaria, to equip a bus operated by Stadtwerke Hof with a revised version of the “Solar Bus Kit” – Sono Motors' PV retrofit solution for buses.

Sono Motors offers 16 semi-flexible solar modules, totaling 1.4 kW in output, for the bus roof. This lightweight setup, weighing just 50 kg, directs solar energy to the battery supporting the bus's diesel engine.

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The solar-equipped bus has gained road approval from the TÜV and is active in Hof. Meanwhile, an equivalent mid-hybrid bus, lacking the photovoltaic kit, serves as a performance and energy consumption benchmark on selected routes.

“We are very excited about the results of the pilot project,” explained Stadtwerke Managing Director Jean Petrahn.

The project serves as a stepping stone towards the gradual conversion of the fleet in the coming years.

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