Christian Bernard welcomed the announcement of new financing for young German manufacturer Sono Motors. This step pushes the Sion a little more towards mass production.
2020: a lift for Sono Motors
December 2019 was a time of great doubt for supporters of this innovative electric car. At the end of that month, an urgent appeal was launched by the startup team to quickly raise the 50 million euros needed to acquire the production tool and to build a new prototype. , the one prefiguring the final version of Sion. As of January 20, 2020, 51.5 million euros of commitments had been recorded, thanks to a decisive second wave.
Christian Bernard was one of those who allowed Sono Motors to continue one of these strong and unusual adventures in the automotive world. “I had already paid the minimum 500 euros requested during my reservation recorded on July 31, 2017 under number 1382. At the end of 2019, following the call for funds, I contributed 1,500 euros to my initial stake”, recalls -he.
“If Sono’s adventure were to end abruptly, those 2,000 euros were in principle refundable. In reality, for me, these funds would be lost. But too bad: if the project was stopped, I would at least have had the satisfaction of having tried, with my little resources, to help them! », Explains our interlocutor in a committed manner.
2021: The new prototype in Las Vegas
As promised, Sono Motors made the final prototype before production thanks to the call for funds completed almost a year ago. It will be unveiled to the public on January 11 and 14, 2021, during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. An appointment that takes the form of relief for the carriers of the 12,600 pre-orders.
“I experienced the various twists and turns in the life of Sono Motors with a little emotion, but also with great confidence in the seriousness of the founders. Even though I was sometimes afraid that the project would not come to an end, it was this confidence, but also the desire for it to work, that won out, “says Christian Bernard.
The turn taken by the startup’s adventure proves our interviewee right. A few days ago, Sono Motors announced a fundraising of 45 million euros supported by large investors. This new operation will make it possible to pave the last straight line before the Sion goes into production.
Biker converted to electric mobility
Who is our interlocutor ready to mobilize to support a high-risk project? A somewhat enlightened young ecologist who draws the strength to hope from a certain unconsciousness and the renovation of school programs at the beginning of this century? Not at all !
“I am a retiree of nearly 70 years old who lives in the countryside in the south of Vienne. I have been a biker for half a century. I still accumulate my 10,000 km annually on two wheels, among other things to indulge my second passion, that of golf, “corrects Christian Bernard. “I was converted to an electric car more than 5 years ago, first for reasons of savings in use, then for the convenience of driving. The ecological side seemed less convincing to me at the time, “he continues.
“We did a first Nissan Leaf 30 in LLD with the following model equipped with a 40 kWh battery, before being convinced by the new Renault ZOE 50 in Zen finish and full options. We bought it second-hand for 25,000 euros, battery included, from an agent who imported it from Italy. It only displayed 10 km on the odometer after 3 months of entry into service “, lists our interlocutor.
Zion imposed itself
A happy electromobilien? Not quite yet! “It’s my partner who drives the ZOE. For my part, when I’m not riding a motorcycle, I’m driving a 20 year old Volkswagen Polo that has been converted to ethanol. It is equipped with a hitch, an accessory that is essential for me here “, emphasizes Christian Bernard.
“It was precisely to replace this car that I became interested in the Sono Sion at the start of 2017. It was at the time the only electric city car or all-rounder project capable of towing. After getting closer to the founders when Sono Motors was just a small startup, I had the opportunity to try out one of the first two prototypes in Paris. I ordered right away! », He explains.
“The philosophy of the Sion particularly convinced me: a simple electric vehicle, rustic in the good sense of the word, without gadgets or debauchery of technology perfectly useless in my eyes, whose spare parts catalog will be available to each buyer with the price, offering the possibility of towing a trailer of 750 kg and the possibility of using it as a source of energy ”, he aligns.
Other big and small extras
“The 250 km range was more than enough for me. The solar panels covering the bodywork struck me as a little nicer. The few dozen additional kilometers they bring are nevertheless not to be overlooked! “, Believes Christian Bernard.
“Since then, the guarantees provided by the creators of Sono Motors concerning, for example, the strict management of the carbon impact of the construction of the Sion, or the planned development in the form of carsharing, convinced me to submit a little money in the adventure. Adventure of which I am convinced that, thanks to the pragmatism and the seriousness of the founders, we will soon see the realization: in any case the investors follow! », He rejoices.
A community that progresses at its own pace
“I don’t have personal contact with other buyers, but I am part of a real tight-knit community. We are in the process of electing a member who will sit on the advisory board of Sono Motors, ”says Christian Bernard.
Another source of satisfaction for our interviewee is the way the founders communicate. “A newsletter is sent out several times a year, serious, without blah-blah or untenable promises. I prefer measured but reliable communication to a riot of shattering statements, ”he emphasizes.
Our interlocutor would have liked to embark some relatives on the adventure of Sion. “I just managed to convince my brother to switch to plug-in hybrid with a Peugeot 3008. Things are moving slowly, step by step,” he says.
What would you like to say to someone who is still hesitant to join the Sono Motors phenomenon? ” We need to believe ! They are trustworthy, unabashed people who have faith in what they do, “he concludes.
Automobile Propre and I would like to thank Christian Bernard (not his real name) for being available at a time when his schedule is particularly busy.