Sion solar car manufacturer to sell bidirectional home chargers

Sono Motors, manufacturer of solar car Sion, is going to sell a bidirectional home charger. It must be a relatively cheap AC home charger that can charge and discharge with a maximum of 11 kW. A final price has not yet been announced.

Sono Motors says the Sono Wallbox can be cheaper than alternative bi-directional home chargers because the Wallbox runs on AC power instead of DC power, which competing bi-directional home chargers would work. This could be because the Sion solar car itself converts direct current into alternating current and passes this alternating current to the Wallbox.

The Sono Wallbox could be up to seventy percent cheaper than DC home chargers, although no concrete amounts are mentioned yet. Sono does say that it will be “a low four-digit amount.” Sono will announce the price before the sale starts in 2023. The design of the Sono Wallbox is also unfinished; the manufacturer is now asking people who have reserved the Sion what design they would like to see.

The Wallbox will be able to communicate with home energy management systems via protocols such as eebus, Modbus or OCPP. Sono Motors will announce later which HEMS will be compatible with the Wallbox. The HEMS can determine when a Sion needs to be charged or discharged. Within the Sono app or the infotainment system of the Sion, users can indicate which minimum battery level the solar car must have.

A bidirectional charger can both charge and discharge a car, so that the car can also function as a home battery. Users can, for example, have the Sion charged during the day with the solar cells, in order to return this stored energy to the house in the evening. Another example is that the car stores excess energy from the grid, to be fed back later when the supply exceeds the demand.

Sono Motors is best known for the Sion, a relatively cheap electric hatchback with solar panels. The car will have a 54 kWh-lfp battery with which a range of up to 305 kilometers should be possible. The car costs 25,500 euros and is expected to go into production in 2023, just like the Wallbox. The Sion supports bidirectional charging.

The three designs of the Sono Wallbox that people who have placed a Sion order can now choose from