Could it be that plug-in electric cars are on the road to becoming passe? Could solar-powered cars, once a topic of after-dinner chatter, be shifting up a gear to be the next big thing in motoring?

Perhaps not in the forseable future but we are likely to see the emergence of solar-power technology when the Sion solar-powered electric car makes its debut in the UFODRIVE rental fleet.

The all-electric car rental company is collaborating with Sono Motors to make the Sion available around Europe – a global first for any mainstream car rental firm.  

The journey to solar power

It’s worthwhile taking note of this start-up company. In the two short years since inception UFODRIVE has established itself as the most carbon-neutral company in the car rental industry.

In 2020, it enjoyed a 108 per cent growth and that’s in a pandemic world, no doubt tapping into the collective desire for carbon-neutral fuel. The electric car has done that, and the idea that the Sion is powered by the sun has a certain cachet.

It has a range of 255 kilometres (139 miles) per charge and the big advantage is that solar power is cheap and does away with hefty fuel bills with no emissions. It lends itself well to urban motoring.

248 solar cells are seamlessly integrated into the Sion’s body work

The car charges its battery using the power of the sun throughout the day via the 248 solar cells that have been seamlessly integrated into its bodywork.

Though these cars will still need to be plugged into an electric socket to be charged the intervals between each charge is extended. 

It’s understandable that the UFODRIVE CEO, Aidan McClean is enthusiastic:

I believe the Sion will become the first solar car to go into volume production. Its recharging capabilities will make it the ideal vehicle used for car sharing in cities.

Thomas Hausch, COO of Sono Motors is seems pretty thrilled too:

UFODRIVE and Sono Motors have the same goal: providing clean, affordable and easily shareable mobility to a new and growing group of customers: people who are defining their transportation needs by the ease of use and the carbon footprint they leave behind.

The company wants to penetrate the American market and for this, it wants to raise a further £1.5 million. They are doing this by a Crowdfunding drive through SEEDRS. If you are interested in getting involved you can check out www.seedrs.com/ufodrive

You will have to be quick though as they have already reached 96 per cent within two weeks of its six-week investment window.

The UFODRIVE funding offer is available through Seedrs.com until 15th February 2021.