Sono Motors, CHEREAU Collaborate on Solar-Powered Refrigerated Trailers


Sono Motors is expanding its solar business by entering the refrigerated trailer market with its proprietary Sono Solar Technology. The company has signed a purchase contract with The Reefer Group, a refrigerated truck bodies company, extending the number of total partners of Sono Motors’ Solar business unit to more than 17 globally.

As part of this collaboration, the companies will build a first trailer vehicle with the Reefer Group’s French subsidiary CHEREAU S.A.S. for extensive testing to further evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of integrating a customized solar solution for a high-volume series vehicle. The solar integration will provide the trailer’s cooling unit with an additional 9.8 kW peak, offering possible fuel savings of approximately 3,400 liters (up to 8,475 under peak conditions).

“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,” says Laurin Hahn, co-founder and CEO of Sono Motors. “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. We are very pleased for the opportunity to collaborate with such a respected industry partner like CHEREAU and to be able to work with them towards creating a more sustainable future. We look forward to all the opportunities that this partnership can create.”

“The solar integration solutions provided by Sono Motors are the perfect fit for our trailers,” states Damien Destremau, CEO at The Reefer Group and CHEREAU. “We are pleased to be able to work with Sono Motors to create the future prototype that will be part of our demo fleet of sustainable reefer trailers. This is a big step towards making commercial mobility more sustainable and reducing emissions.”

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 like the CHEREAU refrigerated semi-trailer. The high-efficiency, automotive-grade solar modules cover an area of 58.9 square meters and will provide up to 9.8 kW peak of energy in total at peak performance.

The planned premiere of the trailer at the IAA Transportation 2022 in Hanover 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.

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