Munich’s First Solar Bus Technology Will Hit the Road to Reduce Emissions and Pollution

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Saving fuel, slashing emissions, and cutting pollution are just some of the benefits of installing solar panels on public transportation buses—and the city of Munich is buying a ticket to the future by doing just that.

Founded by a trio of German friends in 2016, Sono Motors went public in 2021, selling their Sion solar-paneled car, which is also a home energy storage system.

Now, in partnership with the Munich Transport Company (MVG), a novel solar bus trailer will soon hit the roads, carrying passengers in daily operation.

The Sono Solar Technology is offering possible savings—per bus—of up to 2,500 liters of diesel each year and a reduction of 6.5 metric tons local CO2.

The bus trailer will be pulled by a conventional bus, to provide extra capacity on busy routes. Normally, these huge trailers are powered by diesel fuel.

“In summer, when the air conditioning is in full use, the trailer consumes more electricity than the towing vehicle can supply,” a Sono spokesperson told GNN.

The 20 photovoltaic modules on the roof provide over 2,000 watts to power the vehicle’s battery and electrical loads such as heating and air conditioning, as well as the trailer’s steering system.

“In addition to saving diesel, the additional electricity ensures the stabilization of the battery’s energy supply, thus extending its service life and reducing maintenance costs.”

“Apart from this specific case, Sono Motors Solar Technology can also be integrated into the Bus itself—for supporting the high voltage battery of an electric bus.”

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