Sony, Honda launch e-mobility JV

Sony, Honda launch e-mobility JV

Business news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

Sony Honda Mobility (Tokyo) will be owned half and half by both partners, with an initial capital of 10 billion yen (about €70 million). Although it is a joint venture between two Japanese corporations based in the capital, the products will be built in Honda’s existing North America factory.

The first electric model to be built by Honda in North America should be available for pre-order from the first half of 2025 and go on sale before the end of 2025. Deliveries are scheduled to start in the US in spring 2026, followed by Japan in the second half of 2026. SHM is not yet giving details on potential sales in other countries.

The new company’s EV concept is defined as “3A’s” – for Autonomy, Augmentation and Affinity. Observers regard this as an (albeit relatively vague) programmatic commitment to autonomous driving, to a high degree of electronic visualisation and networking, and to a driving experience that appeals to the senses.

Beyond that, the company also announced a comprehensive service architecture that incorporates an integrated service framework that is consistent throughout from in-vehicle software to cloud-based software (and in this respect state of the art throughout the automotive industry). These services, the company pointed out, will extend beyond sales; they will include digital as well as physical services to form continuous relationships with customers across the entire value chain. In addition, the SHM masterminds is inviting customers to take part in the product development process.

In the joint announcement, there is talk about “the first product”. So far, Sony has presented two e-car prototypes: The VISION-S 01 e-sedan was unveiled at CES 2020, and the VISION-S 02 e-SUV was unveiled at CES 2022, but it is unclear which design elements of these prototypes will be adopted in series production. The two vehicles were developed and built with the help of international tier one automotive suppliers, including Benteler, Bosch, Continental, ZF and Magna Steyr. Observers also believe that the focus for Sony is more on the company’s sensor and safety technology and entertainment system than on the vehicle platform.

Honda, for its part, had only announced in the middle of this week that it was preparing three vehicle and component plants in the US state of Ohio for the production of e-vehicles at a cost of around $700 million; in addition, $3.5 billion will be invested (together with partner LGES) in a battery factory in Ohio. Previously, Honda had announced that it would build an e-car in North America in 2026 based on the new “large” platform. This could be the SMH model.

Related articles:

Sony, Honda team to bring new EV to market

Honda picks Renesas SoC and MCU for ADAS

Honda breathes a second life into its batteries

Honda cars can “see around corners” with V2X-based technology

Sony’s Vision-S e-car using technology from European tier ones

Electric vehicles double market share


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