Next big thing? So­lar-pow­ered card

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The power of the sun will give power to your ride

Here’s some fuel for thought… Imag­ine a world where you never have to stop for petrol. Or elec­tric­ity. You could just keep driv­ing, only ever stop­ping to re­fuel your­self with cof­fee and pasties. Un­til some­one in­vents a ve­hi­cle that’ll feed off your mac­chi­ato dregs, Sono Mo­tors’ Sion is our best hope of such a utopia com­ing into ex­is­tence. It uses the sun to trans­port you wher­ever you please, like some kind of su­per-vil­lain­ous scheme for world dom­i­na­tion ... only the Sion is great for the planet and could save you a for­tune on fuel. And no one’s thought of this be­fore? Not on this scale, nope. Ford cooked up a so­lar C-Max con­cept a cou­ple of years ago, but Sono Mo­tors is the first man­u­fac­turer to bring the same idea to mass pro­duc­tion. So from 2019 on­wards you’ll be able to pur­chase this city slicker for an en­tirely rea­son­able €16,000 and whizz around your local vicin­ity via the power of re­new­able en­ergy alone. Of course, it doesn’t just gen­er­ate this stuff out of thin air. The Sion has been plas­tered with 330 so­lar cells on it­sroof, bon­net and doors so that it can gen­er­ate enough juice to cover 30km per day. Sounds nice. But what about stormier climes? Fear not, the Sion isn’t about to leave you stranded just out­side of Bakewell with only the mini golf course for en­ter­tain­ment. It can also be charged by a tra­di­tional plug-in, just as you might a Tesla or Toy­ota Prius. And in truth, you’ll have to do this on the reg­u­lar to en­joy its full 250km range. The greater is­sue is that you’ve got to travel to Europe if you want a test drive: for now, the Sion can only be taken for a free spin in lo­ca­tions across France, Ger­many, Bel­gium, Switzer­land, Aus­tria and the Nether­lands.

NEXT BIG THING?

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