Honda, Sony join hands to develop EVs, first model to be out by 2026
Earlier this year in March, Japan-based automobile company Honda and technology giant Sony signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a new electric vehicle company called Sony Honda Mobility Inc. (SHM).
The newly established software-oriented mobility tech company will develop premium EVs that would be sold exclusively via an online marketplace. The first product out of this joint venture is likely to make its debut in 2026 in the US followed by Japan. The Japanese company might also release its products in European markets.
Honda– a major automobile brand catering to various segments– and Sony, an industry leader in consumer electronics, forged the alliance to benefit from their complementary skills. While Sony will develop the mobility service platform for the new company, Honda will manufacture the first EV at its plant in Ohio, US.
As per reports, Sony will take care of the EVs' internal software system including cloud-based services and in-car entertainment choices. The consumer tech giant will also be responsible for developing a Level 3 autonomous driving system for the car. On the other hand, Honda will be in charge of the EV platform used in production.
While EVs from SHM will cater to the premium segment and are expected to come with a steep price tag, they are likely to be more affordable than battery-powered models from high-end luxury carmakers. Some reports point out that some features of the forthcoming EV from Sony Honda might be offered on a monthly subscription basis.
Both Honda and Sony are tightlipped regarding pricing, battery range and even the platform for the upcoming electric car. However, representatives of the new company have a detailed vision of conceptualising future mobility loaded with technology.
Other joint ventures involving Honda
SHM isn’t the only joint venture involving Honda with a technology company. Earlier this month, the automaker announced its plan to build a new EV production facility in Ohio with LG Energy Solution, commencing 2023 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.
The plant aims to have about 40GWh of annual production capacity as it starts mass production of pouch-type lithium-ion batteries by the end of 2025. Honda had announced its vision to make battery-electric and fuel-cell electric vehicles represent 100% of its vehicle sales by 2040.
The electric vehicle (EV) revolution has led to the birth of many consortiums by bringing multiple brands together across various industries to develop future mobility. These new establishments will determine the road to cleaner mobility.
Edited by Suman Singh