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German solar car firm Sono Motors files for U.S. IPO



© Reuters. Solar cell panels are seen on the hood of German solar car company Sono Motors’ prototype car “Sion” in Munich, Germany, August 1, 2018. Picture taken August 1, 2018. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert/Files

(Reuters) – German solar car firm Sono Motors on Friday filed for a U.S. initial public offering (IPO), looking to cash in on investor demand as governments worldwide push for a shift to greener transport.

Reuters reported in March that Sono is exploring a U.S. stock market listing that may value the company at more than $1 billion, citing people close to the matter.

Sono was founded in 2016 by four friends from a small garage in Munich, and is developing the Sion, a fully-electric vehicle that has solar cells integrated into its bodywork. The car has a range of up to 305 kilometers (189.52 miles) and can be charged via solar power or from conventional power outlets.

It intends to begin delivering the cars in the first half of 2023, the company said in its filing.

Sono reported more than 14,000 reservations with advance payments, resulting in total net cash inflows of 38.8 million euros ($45.16 million) from its customers by August-end, up from total net cash inflows of 37.9 million euros at the end of June.

These reservations correspond to a net sales volume of about 300 million euros.

It plans to license and sell its solar technology to manufacturers of buses, trucks, camper vans, trains and even boats, Sono said.

The company’s filing, issued ahead of next month’s COP26 global climate talks in Glasgow, highlighted the need for climate-friendly and affordable electric mobility to curb total CO2 emissions.

Government policy changes to tackle global warming could result in zero-emission vehicles comprising around 30% of all vehicles on the road by 2030, a policy report forecast on Monday.

According to a report by McKinsey & Company, the COVID-19 pandemic has also prompted many governments to increase consumer incentives for electric vehicle purchases as part of economic stimulus programs.

Berenberg and Craig-Hallum are underwriters on the offering.

($1 = 0.8593 euros)

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