Sony And Honda Form Alliance To Drive Electric Vehicle Innovation, Should Tesla Be Worried?
Be honest, do the names "Honda" or "Sony" come immediately to mind when thinking about electric vehicles and EV brands? Probably not, though let's check back at the end of the decade and see where thing are at. As automakers continue to steer their efforts towards battery powered cars, Honda and Sony are forming an alliance to build and sell EVs under a new brand.
Technically, this is what's called a "memorandum of understanding" and not yet an official partnership. However, finalizing things is basically a matter of keeping the lawyers fed, as they draw up documents and hammer out the fine print. And as we saw with NVIDIA and Arm, a deal is never complete until it is, though this is a different situation entirely.
"The two companies will proceed with negotiations toward executing various definitive binding agreements, including a joint development agreement and a joint venture agreement, with a goal of establishing the New Company within 2022, subject to execution of the definitive agreements and relevant regulatory approvals," Honda and Sony stated in a joint press release.
As you could have guessed, Honda will design and manufacturer the actual vehicle, while Sony will take care of the imaging, sensing, telecommunication, network, and entertainment technologies. Or put another way, Honda will make the car, and Sony will handle the mobility service platform it runs on.
It's an interesting partnership, and one that will likely see Sony have more input than most people might assume. Sony just build Walkmans, after all. It actually showed off an EV prototype at CES two years ago, called the Vision-S 01, and even tested it on public roads. There's also a Vision-S 02, as shown in the video above.
As for this alliance between Sony and Honda, the plan is to roll the first EV off the lot from the "New Company" in 2025.
The market share for EVs continues to grow. It more than doubled last year to 6.6 million EV car sales, to claim nearly 9 percent of the global car market. Tesla has been a driving force in the adoption of EVs, though it's share in the US dropped from 2020 to 2021. Other automakers are giving Tesla some competition, including Audi, Chevrolet, Ford, and Nissan, and soon Honda/Sony.