Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Sony exploring joint venture with Honda to launch electric cars

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Sony teased us in recent years with the reveal of electric sedan and crossover concepts, and now the Japanese electronics giant has announced it is exploring a joint venture to develop, build, and sell electric vehicles with Honda.

Sony and Honda announced on Friday they are negotiating to establish a joint venture company that will oversee the development and sales of EVs and mobility services. The two companies have only signed a Memorandum of Understanding, but they expect their joint venture to be in operation as soon as this year and the first vehicle to be available in 2025.

Vehicles sold by the joint venture would benefit from Honda’s experience in vehicle production and after-sales management, and Sony’s experience in imaging, sensing and connectivity technologies, the two companies said in a statement.

Sony Vision-S 02 concept

The joint venture wouldn’t have its own plants, though. Instead, it would rely on Honda plants for production. Sony meanwhile would develop a mobility service platform for the joint venture. Details of the mobility services weren’t mentioned.

We also don’t have any details on what vehicles could be developed by the joint venture, though we know Sony has been testing prototypes based on its Vision-S electric sedan concept first shown in 2020. Sony this year also showed a crossover counterpart dubbed the Vision-S 02, with both vehicles designed around a modular EV platform sourced from Magna Steyr, the same Austrian company that supplies a platform for the Fisker Ocean. Magna will will handle production of the Ocean, starting from November.

If all goes to plan, Sony could become the first in the tech space to offer its own car, though Huawei has also mentioned plans to launch its own car in 2025, and both Apple and Xiaomi have hinted at their own car plans.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify that Sony and Honda didn’t announce they they will develop a joint venture but instead announced plans to explore one.



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