Sony Finally Has Real Plans to Build EVs With Honda

The two Japanese companies plan to put an EV on the road by 2025.

byHazel Southwell|
Electric Vehicles photo

After the non-shocking revelation in January that Sony really, really wants to make electric cars, it looks as though the tech giant has got a lot closer to doing so with Honda. The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding that says they'll work on forming a joint venture to speed away into the electric future.

Announced on Friday, the agreement sees the two companies set to create a third that will specifically work on a joint project building "high value-added battery electric vehicles." It sounds like whatever they come up with, they'll be heckin' pricy. The aim is to get this new company together before the end of 2022 and for a car to be on the road by 2025.

The idea is that Sony gets to borrow Honda's ability to make cars and Honda gets to lean on Sony's expertise in electronics, sensors, imaging, networking, and so on.

In the statement from both companies, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said it had been and would continue to be emotional. "Sony's Purpose is to fill the world with emotion through the power of creativity and technology," he said. "Through this alliance with Honda, which has accumulated extensive global experience and achievements in the automobile industry over many years and continues to make revolutionary advancements in this field, we intend to build on our vision to 'make the mobility space an emotional one,' and contribute to the evolution of mobility centered around safety, entertainment and adaptability."

Honda E, Honda

On Honda's side, its CEO Toshihiro Mibe said, "The New Company will aim to stand at the forefront of innovation, evolution, and expansion of mobility around the world, by taking a broad and ambitious approach to creating value that exceeds the expectations and imagination of customers."

"We will do so by leveraging Honda's cutting-edge technology and know-how in relation to the environment and safety, while aligning the technological assets of both companies," Mibe continued. "Although Sony and Honda are companies that share many historical and cultural similarities, our areas of technological expertise are very different. Therefore, I believe this alliance which brings together the strengths of our two companies offers great possibilities for the future of mobility."

Sony has long expressed its interest in electric vehicles, even before anyone knew it was serious. It started with the Vision-S Concept, which Sony persistently developed but said it had no plans to bring it to market. Then it built another car, this time an electric crossover named the Vision-S 02 Concept, at which point we were pretty sure something like this would happen.

Honda currently only has one EV available—the extremely cute but slightly limited Honda E—but it has plans to only sell EVs in the U.S. by 2040, so it needs to get a shift on with making a few more. Partnering with Sony, especially with the speed of their plan to sell what's so certain to be a luxury electric crossover SUV with an autonomous driving mode and a fancy parking assist I am tempted to go and place a bet right now, is a great way to move that along.

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