Electric vehicles are gradually taking the automobile market by storm since they offer alternatives to gasoline-powered ones. They are energy efficient, environmentally friendly, and incorporate advanced technology and designs that ensure a great driving experience.

When you think about electric vehicles, the first brand that probably pops up is Tesla. The company has dominated the electric car market with popular releases such as the Model X, arguably one of the most powerful electric SUVs. However, other companies are delving into the EV market, designing medium-sized SUVs as efficient as the Model X.

One such vehicle is the Sono Sion, developed by Sono Motors, a German startup company and newcomer in the EV market. The vehicle presents one of the first EVs with solar cells to complement its electric charging option. Although the Sono Sion is still under development, it will undoubtedly give the Tesla Model X a run for its money when it is released in 2023.

In this article, we will review the Sono Sion vs Tesla Model X regarding their specs, and highlight their differences to give you an idea of which EV is best for you. Let’s get to it!

Sono Sion vs Tesla Model X: Side-by-Side Comparison

Sono SionTesla Model X
ManufacturerSono MotorsTesla Motors
Release Date20232015
Battery54 kWh LFP with Solar Energy100 kWh Lithium-ion
0 to 60 mph8.8 seconds3.8 seconds
Top speed87 mph155 mph
Range160 miles348 miles
Power160 hp670 hp
Design5-door hatchback5-door SUV
Price$29,200$120,990

Sono Sion vs Tesla Model X: What’s The Difference?

Although they are both electric vehicles, their dependence on the electric grid as a power source is as far as their similarities go. The two EVs have different interiors and operating components that determine their efficiency and desirability.

While the Sono Sion presents an energy-efficient vehicle that can potentially extend battery life remotely, the Tesla Model X presents a sleek, powerful EV you can drive for miles. Let’s look at some aspects that set the vehicles apart.

Design

White Sion undergoing tests in Nuremberg
The Sono Sion will be the first electric vehicle able to charge its battery via the power of the sun.

When picking a car, the first thing you notice is its design. Not only do you wish your vehicle’s design to be sleek, but you also want it to be comfortable and accommodate your intended purpose. It doesn’t make sense to purchase a car whose design does not match your requirements.

In this regard, the Sono Sion’s design makes it a perfect family car. Although its exterior is not easy on the eye, it is a deceivingly spacious vehicle. The body is fitted with solar panels, which may look odd if the car does not have a subtle color. Combined with a flat hatchback design, the Sono Sion isn’t a vehicle you’d drive around to impress people.

Spaciousness

However, if you don’t care much about driving a sleek car and care more about comfort, the German-designed EV may be just what you need. While the car seems small enough to maneuver the crowded cityscape, it has a roomy interior with an eight-person seating capacity, making it the perfect replacement for the mini-van. The spacious interior also gives enough leg and headroom, making it ideal for tall people.

If you do not need the seating space, the Sion’s design makes it suitable for carrying out numerous errands. Perhaps you are out on a shopping spree. The hatchback opens to a trunk large enough to fit your goods, plus there is a hidden compartment beneath for additional storage.

For those who wish to explore the limits of the Sono Sion and go camping, it has an adjustable backseat that goes all the way down to create room for a bed. You will undoubtedly have a top-notch outdoor experience with the vehicle.

From these design features, we can deduce that the Sono Sion design is tailored for comfort. This extends to its dashboard, fitted with a 10-inch screen that presents a central control system for the vehicle’s infused technology and entertainment system. It displays various information, including the vehicle’s energy consumption, and controls entertainment systems provided by the car, such as Apple CarPlay for music.

On the other hand, like other electric vehicles manufactured by Tesla Motors, the Model X has a sleek design emphasizing safety. It is a seven-passenger seater mid-sized luxury vehicle with a panoramic windshield that increases natural lighting inside the car without compromising the driver’s view of the road.

Tesla’s Appealing Exterior

Unlike the Sono Sion, the Model X has an appealing exterior design that gives it the look of a high-end vehicle. So, if you want to ooze sophistication and elegance, this is probably the electric vehicle you should buy.

One of Model X’s most notable design features is its falcon wing doors that open upward, giving it a bat-mobile look. This feature not only adds to the vehicle’s posh design but also increases accessibility to the interior, unlike the contemporary gull-wing doors.

The Model X’s interior design is no less impressive than its elegant exterior. The doors open to a spacious interior with three-row seats. Although it is not as roomy as the Sion, the middle-row seats are foldable. Thus, they allow you to create more leg and relaxation room when fewer passengers are occupying the vehicle.

Battery Life and Range

Although a vehicle’s design plays an integral part in choosing your preferred automobile, the battery life and the range are also crucial. You want your car to have an elegant look. But you also want it to drive more miles when fully charged. This way, it can help you get to your destination with little to no inconvenience.

The German-designed Sion is fitted with a lithium-iron-phosphate battery (LFP). This is a shift from the contemporary lithium-ion batteries found in most high-performing electric vehicles. Although this zero-cobalt battery has a longer lifespan, it does not compete well in terms of the range it gives.

With a capacity of around 54 kWh, the battery offers a range of 160 miles when fully charged. This isn’t ideal when traveling long distances. However, the Sono Sion’s fitted solar panels provide an additional charge to the LFP batteries. In fact, they give about 70 to 150 extra miles in a week from solar energy.

These battery abilities and range make the vehicle ideal for short travels. So, it’s the ideal city car. Contrastingly, Tesla’s Model X runs on a powerful lithium-ion battery rated at 100 kWh.

The vehicle can travel 348 miles on a fully charged battery before getting to a charging station. With this in mind, it is a no-brainer that you should go for the Tesla Model X if you wish to travel long distances. It is more efficient.

Performance

Tesla Model X tires
Tesla Model X has the highest towing capacity of any electric SUV.

If you are a speed enthusiast or plan to drive across different terrains, your vehicle’s performance isn’t something you can compromise. Although the Sono Sion and Tesla Model X run on rechargeable batteries, their performance is exceptionally different.

The Sono Sion is hardly the most powerful electric vehicle, per its performance stats. It is important to point out that the vehicle’s manufacturers had a simple city car in mind when designing the vehicle. As such, the vehicle’s motor produces 160 hp and can only go as fast as 87 mph.

So, if you are ‘built for speed,’ you probably shouldn’t go for this model. However, if you want a safe vehicle to drive around town, the Sion is a viable option.

Tesla Model X’s All-Wheel Drive

On the contrary, the Model X presents one of the market’s most powerful and fastest electric SUVs, with its performance on par with a sports car. The vehicle’s lithium-ion battery powers two motors that combine to produce 670 horsepower. With the motors at the front and rear wheels, the vehicle is an all-wheel drive, making it easier to maneuver through different terrains.

The Model X’s impeccable performance extends to its speed capabilities. The vehicle can go as fast as 155 mph and has an impressive acceleration speed from 0-60 mph in just 3.8 seconds. It is one of the fastest SUVs in the market.

Safety

The Model X’s great performance features are not without safety measures. Foremost, it has a top-notch handling and braking system that increases the driver’s control of the vehicle. The responsive steering system is backed by a collision avoidance system.

It’s also combined with a radar-based autonomous emergency braking system that redirects the car and avoids possible collisions. Owners can also choose from different tires depending on terrain, performance, and season.

Consequently, the Tesla Model X will hold better than the Sono Sion if you traverse hostile terrains and move at high speeds.

Charging

Since both the Sion and Model X are electric vehicles, you may expect them to have the same charging method – through an electric grid. However, they are relatively different.

The Sono Sion presents a new breed of EVs designed with solar panels that offer an alternative charging system from the usual connection to the electric grid. The vehicle’s roof and sides have solar panels with 456 integrated solar half cells that charge the car using solar energy.

By the end of the week, you will have approximately accumulated an extra range of around 70 to 155 miles, sufficient for short drives without plugging into an electric grid. You can monitor this energy input through the display screen on the dashboard.

Bidirectional Charging

A unique feature of the Sion’s charging system is its bidirectional charging, which allows you to power your vehicle from the grid. The vehicle has a flexible charging system at the front that allows charging at any station. It has a charging capacity of 75 kW DC, which takes around 35 minutes to charge the automobile to 80% in a fast charging station.

Once fully charged, the Sion’s bidirectional charging allows you to set up the EV as an independent charging station and share power with other EVs. You can also supply power to your home using the car through the Sono Wallbox!

Wall Connector

Unlike the Sion’s advanced charging with multiple options, the Model X has a standard charging system, like most EVs. You can charge the vehicle at home by installing a wall connector or in any fast charging station.

While both are convenient and effective charging options, the Wall Connector takes relatively longer to fill up your vehicle with the needed energy. It takes around 10 hours to charge it fully. 

You are better off charging the Model X overnight if you have a long journey the following day. Alternatively, you could plug into any fast charging station, which takes around 40 minutes to charge your vehicle fully. While both the Sion and Model X have efficient charging systems, the former is arguably more flexible.

Pricing and Availability

It’s always sensible to weigh a vehicle’s specs against the price offered to ascertain whether it is worth the purchase. We cannot wrap up our review of the Sono Sion vs Tesla Model X without comparing their prices.

The Sono Sion is not available on the market yet. However, it is available for pre-order in Europe. The production of the vehicle is set to start in early 2023. And the first batch of deliveries is set for later that year. The availability of the car in the United States is yet to be announced.

However, with a starting price of $25,000, the vehicle already has over 20,000 pre-orders in Europe. There are surely more to come, given the vehicle’s rising popularity.

The price is relatively low for an EV. The manufacturers are constantly working on producing affordable green vehicles as opposed to the premium luxury EVs on the market. It is worth noting that the Sion will only be available in one color, black, and will be sold directly to consumers rather than in dealerships.

As a high-end luxury EV, the Tesla Model X is priced way higher than the Sion. The first Model X batch was available on the market in 2015, acquired via pre-orders with a deposit of $5,000 to $40,000.

Currently, the vehicle is available across the globe for around $120,000. Although it is expensive, the price is justifiable due to Tesla’s brand and the exquisite features you will enjoy after purchasing the vehicle. After all, it is a luxury medium-sized SUV.

Sono Sion vs Tesla Model X: 7 Must-Know Facts

  1. The Tesla Model X is one of the best-performing electric SUVs. Its lithium-ion batteries power its dual motor system, producing 670 hp.
  2. The Sono Sion has 456 integrated solar half cells that allow it to charge and power itself using solar energy, increasing its range.
  3. Sono Sion’s bidirectional charger enables you to share your charge with other EVs, transforming your vehicle into a mobile charging station.
  4. You can power your house using your Sion through the Sono Wallbox installed in your home.
  5. The Sion is yet to hit the market as the manufacturing company is still working on the vehicle’s design and other features.
  6. The Tesla Model X has self-driving capabilities and other technology that enhance your safety and driving experience.
  7. The Model X is the only vehicle with falcon wing doors that increase its sleekness and accessibility to the interior.

Sono Sion vs Tesla Model X: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Use?

Now that we have reviewed Sono Sion vs Tesla Model X and their defining features, you may be wondering which one is better. Well, the better electric vehicle of the two depends on your preference and needs.

Nonetheless, when push comes to shove, the Tesla Model X is arguably better than the Sono Sion. The vehicle is sleek, offers the same seating capacity as the Sion, and has far better range and performance. The Model X is just for you if you want a fast, elegant car that can easily travel long distances and across different terrains. The vehicle’s only downside is its price.

On the other hand, if you want a simple, spacious, and comfortable vehicle to move around the city, the Sono Sion is a viable option.

Sono Sion vs Tesla Model X: How They Compare and What You Need to Know FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Is Sono Sion available in the United States?

The Sono Sion was only recently announced in mid-2022 and is only available for pre-order in Europe. The manufacturers are yet to announce when the vehicle will be available in the United States.

Who manufactures the Sono Sion?

The solar-powered electric vehicle is manufactured by Sono Motors, a German-based startup company. The company has its production plant based in Uusikaupunki, Finland.

Does the Tesla Model X have solar panels?

No, the Tesla Model X and other Tesla models do not have solar panels installed as alternative power sources. The argument behind the failure to incorporate the power source was that electric vehicles are too small to fit solar panels. However, with technological advancements, the company may consider the option in future models.

Is Sono Sion a self-driving EV?

No, at the moment, Sono Sion does not offer a self-driving feature. Even though the vehicle is still undergoing various design improvements before its official release, it is unlikely to incorporate the technology.

Can the Sono Sion operate solely on solar energy?

The solar half-cells integrated into the Sono Sion were designed as a backup energy source. However, they offer an additional range of about 75 miles a week, which is sufficient for small distances.

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