MAN Truck & Bus and Sono Motors will investigate the technical and economic feasibility of integrating the Sono Solar technology into MAN’s eTGE electric transporter.
Sono Solar technology enables integration of solar cells in the bodies of vehicles. The vehicle-integrated photovoltaic solutions (VIPV) are not intended to replace existing energy storage systems, such as batteries or fuel cells. But, they can reduce energy requirements and the number of charging intervals required, thus extending the range. Furthermore, the solar energy will be utilised for auxiliary uses, such as heating, air conditioning or refrigeration units.
MAN Truck & Bus is one of Europe’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturers and providers of transport solutions. The eTGE is MAN’s answer for urban and regional operations. It does not cause on-site emissions and is significantly quieter in operation compared to an internal combustion engine drive.
The two companies will explore the possibility of equipping three applications with Sono Solar technology:
1. MAN eTGE panel van
2. MAN eTGE combi with a powerful on-roof air conditioning system
3. MAN eTGE with a refrigeration system
For all three concepts, the focus is either on increasing the range or achieving self-sufficiency for auxiliary equipment, such as the air conditioning system, through the acquired solar energy.
Jona Christians, co-founder and CEO of Sono Motors, said, “It is a great opportunity for Sono Motors to team up with such a respected industry partner as MAN and to work together for a more sustainable future. Our Sono Solar technology offers a lightweight and adaptable platform that is ideal for light commercial vehicles, such as MAN’s battery-powered eTGE. We look forward to all the opportunities that these two sustainable technologies can bring together.”
Dennis Affeld, Senior Vice President & Head of Sales Truck & Van at MAN Truck & Bus, said, “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.”