Sono Motors Abandons Plans to Produce Solar-Powered Electric Car
- Sono Motors has abandoned its plans to produce the electric car "Sion" with solar cells integrated into the body. The company will now pivot to retrofitting and integrating its solar technology onto third party vehicles, a move that is far less capital-intensive.
On Friday, February 24th, Sono Group N.V., a Munich, Germany-based company, announced it was abandoning plans to produce the »Sion« electric car with solar cells integrated into the body. This follows a December announcement of the decision, contingent upon the outcome of a »#savesion campaign« that aimed to secure series production of the Sion via advance orders. As a result, Sono Motors is planning to lay off around 300 employees and COO Thomas Hausch is stepping down from his post. The company's shares, listed on the Nasdaq exchange in New York, fell to around 55 U.S. cents from around 85 U.S. cents on the same day. Payment commitments made as part of the »#savesion campaign« will not be collected, with a repayment plan in place for upfront payments made prior to the start of the campaign.
Why does it matter?
The decision to abandon the "Sion" project is a significant one for Sono Motors, as the company had been banking on the success of the car to help fund its operations. According to the company, 90 percent of its financing requirements last year were for the Sion program. This means that without the car, the company faces a significant financial challenge going forward. Furthermore, the decision to lay off 300 employees and the departure of COO Thomas Hausch is a serious blow to the company's operations and its workforce.
Moving forward, Sono Motors will be focusing exclusively on retrofitting and integrating its solar technology onto third party vehicles. This pivot will allow the company to continue to operate, albeit on a smaller scale than before. It is unclear at this time how the company plans to adjust to the loss of key personnel and the financial implications of the decision to abandon the Sion project. Additionally, Sono Motors will need to find new sources of revenue to make up for the money it was expecting to receive from the "Savesion" campaign.
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