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GERMANY: Solar-powered transport company Sono Motors has announced a joint production deal with French refrigerated vehicle manufacturer Chereau for a solar trailer with 58.9m2 of solar panels.

Chereau, a subsidiary of the European Reefer Group, will build the trailer for extensive testing to further evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of integrating a customised solar solution for a high volume series vehicle. 

Sono Motors will be equipping the roof and sides of an existing Chereau trailer with 54 solar modules using the VaPV (vehicle applied photovoltaic) process that was developed specifically for the use in cargo-box vehicles. The solar power will be used to operate the cooling unit through charging the battery.

The solar integration will provide the trailer’s cooling unit with an additional 9.8kW peak, offering possible fuel savings of approximately 3,400 litres (up to 8,475 under peak conditions).

The planned premiere of the trailer at the IAA Transportation 2022 in Hanover in September will be followed by intensive tests during a several month-long field trial by a Chereau customer in France. Part of the testing process is validating the numbers for energy earnings and fuel savings that are based on internal calculations including weather and system efficiency assumptions.

 “This partnership is a huge step for Sono Motors, since we open up a completely new industry for our highly flexible and proprietary Sono Solar technology. We offer a lightweight and adaptable platform that is ideal for refrigerated trailers and allows customers in the transportation industry to cut costs and emissions throughout their fleet,” said Laurin Hahn, co-founder and CEO of Sono Motors.

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