German mobility startup Sono Motors has launched one of the biggest community funding campaigns in Europe.
The company’s campaign target is to generate 50 million euros between now and December 30, 2019, with preorders from existing and new supporters. The capital will then primarily be invested in production facilities for prototypes of the first solar electric vehicle (SEV): the Sion.
This broad-based public campaign follows a strategic reorganisation of the company’s finances, to support the production and delivery of the Sion. The idea is for the follow-up financing to likewise be borne by the growing Sono Motors community, complemented by long-term investors.
The decision to no longer pursue the previous strategy and the termination of the corresponding talks requires the acquisition of new financial resources and postpones the production of the first vehicles into September 2021.
“We realised again and again over the past few months that we have entirely different goals to traditional financial investors,” said Laurin Hahn, CEO and co-founder of Sono Motors.
“Aggressive growth and quick profits are difficult to reconcile with a sustainable corporate and vehicle concept which is designed to give access to affordable and eco-friendly electromobility throughout. In addition, providing start-ups that have a capital-intensive business model with venture capital does not work in Germany, neither in the initial stages nor at the growth stage. Had we relied solely on funding measures or the German market environment, Sono Motors would probably not exist in its current form. Urgent action is required from the politicians in this area. It should be possible to implement such a future project in Germany and lead it to economic success. We will continue to fight anyhow. For climate-friendly mobility and for our reservation holders,” added Hahn.
10,000 supporters have already preordered and prepaid for a Sion.
“We were torn between our pledge to the community and the investors’ demands and were increasingly moving away from who we really are, which is something we absolutely had to correct. Social responsibility and climate protection would otherwise have fallen by the wayside, and so would all that we stepped up for. We are now focusing on continuing to fund our innovative vehicle concept together with people who want to see the Sion on the road. Together with a community that asks for a company which acts responsibly, critically questions itself and can be judged honestly on the basis of the statements it makes,” said Jona Christians, CEO and cofounder of Sono Motors.
With the start of the campaign, the company founders are transferring their remaining shares of the profits to a Community Pool and transfer future profits to today’s Sion reservation holders.