Sony, Honda Team Up to Manufacture Electric Vehicles

Apple isn’t the only company from outside the automotive ecosystem to hedge its bets on electric vehicles. Electronics giant Sony has announced that it will be partnering with Japanese automaker Honda to form a joint venture dedicated to building purely electric cars. First revealing news of the partnership to the public in March, the two companies said they would develop and sell battery electric vehicles jointly.

Furthermore, they stated that they were open to extending the partnership to other players. A statement from the two companies stated that they would form the joint venture by the end of 2023 and start delivering the first joint electric vehicle model in 2025. Unsurprisingly, Honda will handle the car manufacturing side of things while Sony will be charged with developing the software and entertainment for the EV mobility service.

Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said that the joint venture would allow the two companies to be at the head of mobility evolution by pairing Sony’s knowledge and experience in technology with Honda’s decades-long experience in developing and manufacturing vehicles. Although the companies did not reveal much as negotiations were still underway at the time, they will each invest $37 million in the venture.

Sony executive vice president Izumi Kawanishi will serve as the joint venture’s president and CEO while senior Honda executive Yasuhhide Mizuno will take the position of CEO and chairman. Speaking at a press conference in March, Honda CEO Toshiro Mibe said that although the company wasn’t thinking of taking the venture public as soon as the deal was concluded, the option would be considered as the venture grew.

He said that Sony and Honda were willing to accept other partners while they worked on developing an EV line. He also added that Honda would keep pursuing its own EV strategy outside of the joint venture. Like Toyota, Honda has been slow to take to electrification compared to other American and European carmakers. Aside from the hybrid Honda Insight and the Honda Clarity, a now-discontinued hydrogen fuel cell car, Honda hadn’t made any moves into the battery electric vehicle (BEV) segment until recently.

The Japanese conglomerate unveiled its first-ever BEV, the Honda e, in 2020, with delivery starting in Japan and Europe. It is a compact electric car with 137 miles of range and fast-charging capabilities. In 2021, Honda announced that it would be selling only alternative-energy vehicles such as BEVs and hydrogen fuel cell cars by 2040.

The products of this Japanese duo will enter the market when other startups such as Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ: NKLA) have already debuted their EV models. As a result, motorists will have a richer variety of electric vehicles to choose from.

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