Sono Motors and MAN Truck & Bus to analyze applications of solar technology in commercial electric vehicles
MAN Truck & Bus and Sono Motors have signed a Letter of Intent to investigate the technical and economic feasibility of integrating Sono Solar technology into MAN’s eTGE electric transporter. Sono Motors is developing its own electric car that is suitable for daily use, with integrated solar cells and innovative mobility services.
Example of solar integration on a MAN eTGE.
Three applications are to be equipped with Sono Solar technology and investigated by the companies:
MAN eTGE panel van
MAN eTGE combi with a powerful on-roof air conditioning system
MAN eTGE with a refrigeration system
For all three concepts, the focus is either on additional range to be achieved or on a self-sufficient supply of auxiliary users—e.g the air conditioning system—through the acquired solar energy.
We will pool our joint know-how and expertise to test various prototypes with vehicle-integrated photovoltaic technology. The aim is to find out how much energy can be gained from PV technology over the year. Using this insight, we can then assess whether the technology pays off for our customers and at the same time helps to protect the environment.—Dennis Affeld, Senior Vice President & Head of Sales Truck & Van at MAN Truck & Bus
The eTGE is MAN’s answer for urban and regional operations. Depending on the annual mileage, the eTGE can be operated more economically than a comparable diesel TGE: after about four years, it pays for itself.
Sono Solar Technology offers a lightweight, robust and cost-effective solar solution that can adapt to a range of complex geometries due to its polymer-based design. Due to the larger surface area compared to passenger cars on vehicles such as trucks, vans or buses, the panels are particularly suitable for commercial applications, such as Last-Mile-Delivery.
The vehicle-integrated photovoltaic solutions (ViPV) are not, however, intended to replace existing energy storage systems such as batteries or fuel cells. They can reduce energy requirements and the number of charging intervals required, thus extending the range.
Furthermore, it is conceivable that the solar energy obtained will be utilized for auxiliary users such as heating, air conditioning or refrigeration units.