My distinguished colleague, Jo Borras, has been a fierce critic of Elio Motors for years and he has every right to be. Elio has promised much but delivered little in the 7 years since it began. Now along comes Storm Sonders who says he is going to build a three wheel electric car that will be sleek, stylish and affordable.
Don’t know who Storm Sonders is? He is the mad genius who brought us the Sondors eBike, a $499 creation that has everything all those other e-bikes have except the price. The Indiegogo funding campaign for the Sondors eBike achieved the second highest funding total in history — $5.2 million.
Now Sondors is on to his next new thing — the Sondors electric car. Like the Elio, it has two wheels in front and one in the rear. But that’s where the similarity ends. According to the company website, “Our mission is to build the most attractive, affordable, and practical electric car ever with a base price starting at $10,000.” Wait, isn’t this precisely what the world has been asking for? An electric car that real people can afford that isn’t orange? The crowd funding campaign has already exceeded its goal by 150%.
“We are creating an electric car that makes sense to the average person. As we did with our electric bike, we’re taking something elitist, over-engineered, and overpriced and turning it into something real, simple to use, and practical. SONDORS is working to be the first real option for an affordable electric car,” says the Sondors website.
The funds raised will be used to build a prototype of the three seat “Model SONDORS.” Once completed, the company intends to offer the car in markets around the world. Here’s the tag line from the website, “The world is filled with useless stuff. Let’s create something useful together.”
The Model SONDORS will be built from aluminum and is intended to be sexy and fast. The company plans to offer customers a choice of three lithium ion batteries giving the car either 50, 100, 200 miles of range. With Sondors, people will only have to pay for the range they need.
There is no doubt the Model SONDORS concept is a good looking car. The front end has hints of the C7 Corvette. From the side it looks a bit like the Corbin Swallow that has now morphed into Electra Meccanica SOLO updated to modern standards. The SOLO retails for just under $16,000 with 100 miles of range. We don’t know if the Model SONDORS with the same range will cost less than that, but it certainly is more pleasing to the eye.
There is a caveat here. Sondors and others were sued in 2015 by the public relations firm that promoted the Sondors eBike. The company claimed it was defrauded by Sondors and the other defendants out of $40,000. That suit has apparently been resolved. Sondors raised over $10 million dollars and has delivered 15,000 of its electric bikes. (Note: The price does not include shipping from Asia where the bikes are manufactured. Final cost including delivery is about $700, which is still cheap for an electric bicycle.)
Check out Storm Sondors’ rather enigmatic video, then decide for yourself whether you want to participate in this latest crowd funding opportunity.