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Those who are said to be dead live longer. We remember: a year ago, Munich solar car pioneer Sono-Motors had to definitively bury the idea of an affordable Sion solar electric car for around 25,000 francs. The last round of crowdfunding also generated insufficient liquid funds to bring the prototype idea to mass production as desired. And no new investors were found.
Result: The ambitious Sion solar car project was halted and nearly half of the 420 employees were laid off. In the future, it was officially announced at the beginning of this year that Sono Motors wants to concentrate on the B2B solar energy business and offer solar energy solutions for buses and trucks. However, in the spring there was already a shortage of capital for this line of business. And so Sono Motors’ two founders, Laurin Hahn, 29, and Jona Christians, 29, were forced to lay off their remaining employees and file for bankruptcy in May. The solar energy idea of two young entrepreneurs from Munich appeared to be a complete failure.
Financing secured until the end of 2024
But now events suddenly take a miraculous turn. The headline of the German newspaper “Automobilwoche” is: “Investor found, Sono Motors gets its head out of the noose”. What happened? It looks like Sono Motors has found an investor in New York hedge fund Yorkville who believes in the company and its ideas. In any case, he will take over the financing of Sono Motors at least until the end of 2024. This means that B2B business, namely the development of solar components for established manufacturers in the commercial vehicle sector, can be continued. However, further development of Sion solar PW is unlikely to be sustained further. One thing is certain: Bankruptcy proceedings, which have been ongoing since May, are planned to end in December.
“We believe that the agreement with Yorkville gives us a promising new start-up opportunity,” Sono Motors Technology Manager Jan Schiermeister tells Automobilwoche. Employees laid off long ago now need to be persuaded to return. Many people will do this, Schiermeister tells “Automobilwoche.”
Sono Motors founder no longer with company
What it didn’t say: It looks like Sono Motors’ two founders, Laurin Hahn, 29, and Jona Christians, 29, are no longer on board. An official statement talks about “restarting the company with a complete restructuring of management.” Sono Motors’ new strong man appears to be chief technology officer Jan Schiermeister. It also reveals that despite its bankruptcy, Sono Motors has been able to win new customers this year and has signed a service contract with one of the world’s largest vehicle manufacturers – leaving it open to whom. In addition, the solar division now has 28 partners instead of 25. Those who are said to be dead live longer.
I’m Ella Sammie, author specializing in the Technology sector. I have been writing for 24 Instatnt News since 2020, and am passionate about staying up to date with the latest developments in this ever-changing industry.