Sono Motors crowdfunds $200k for its out-there solar-powered EV

German start-up plans to make prototypes by next year and new cars by 2018.

Imagine a truncated Toyota Prius with solar panels all over, then shaped roughly like the periodic table and you'll have an idea of the looks of the Sono Motors' Sion. The electric vehicle's features are even more unusual, since the Munich-based startup's EV can charge using solar panels integrated on the roof, sides, and rear. All that got enough people impressed for Sono to raise about $216,000 through the Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign.

Sono plans to sell two versions of the Sion, including a $13,000 "Urban" version with a single-charge range of about 75 miles and an $18,000 "Extender" version with a 155-mile single-charge range, with the important caveat that the price of leasing or buying the car's battery isn't factored in. The company says the car's photovoltaic panels will be able to generate as many as 18 miles of driving range a day. In addition to sunlight-created juice, the car can be recharged from a standard household outlet.

The company expects to start offering test drives of its Sion prototypes as soon as next year, with the first deliveries in Europe and North America slated for as soon as 2018. Sono started its crowd-funding campaign in late July with a goal of raising 150,000 euros ($169,000), so kudos to the company for blowing past that figure. Sono is offering its financial backers everything from a full-day test drive to discounts on the new vehicles. Additionally, interested folks can put down a 500-euro ($563) refundable deposit on the vehicles, or a 2,000-euro ($2,251) pre-order that includes a five percent discount on the vehicle. Sono has posted a short video about its dreamy vehicles, and you can watch it above.

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