Sony and Honda collaborate on ‘premium’ electric vehicles • The Register

Sony and Honda have announced plans to jointly produce a “premium” electric vehicle that will be built in the US and will be on North American roads by 2026.

Sony Honda Mobility (SHM), the new company formed for the company, did not share details on price, vehicle type, battery capacity or other specifications at a press conference [PDF] held on Thursday.

Joint Directors Yasuhide Mizuno and Izumi Kawanishi discussed the company’s overall goals, which revolve around SHM as a “software-centric ‘mobility tech company’ through the provision of high value-added products and services”.

SHM said its offerings would go beyond just vehicles, instead offering “continuous relationships with customers across the entire value chain.” ie subscription services for optional extras in the same way that BMW and Tesla have tried.

Corresponding Reuters SHM said during the press conference that it views the jointly produced electric vehicles as something “that would pave the way to recurring revenue from entertainment and other services that would be billed monthly.”

“As safe driving technology advances and the concentration required to drive decreases, we should consider new ways to enjoy and spend time in the interior as a whole,” said Kawanishi.

SHM made multiple mentions of entertainment and cloud services in relation to the company’s planned vehicles, but didn’t provide many specifics other than to say it “wants to evolve the mobility space into an entertainment and emotional space by seamlessly connecting real and virtual worlds.” integrated.”

The Sony/Honda EV unveiled so far is said to have Level 3 automated driving in limited situations and Level 2 in other environments, similar to systems built by Tesla, Ford and others.

You bring the code, we bring the cars

Sony and Honda first announced they were joining forces to produce an electric vehicle in March, and in June gave additional details about each company’s role in the project.

According to Sony, Honda’s contributions would be primarily on the automotive and after-sales service side, while Sony would contribute “expertise in the development and application of imaging, sensor, telecommunications, networking and entertainment technologies.”

SHM plans for software to be the defining feature of its vehicles, the company said during the press conference, and Kawanishi said SHM wants to “create a team that can win overseas… Software will be our strength compared to our EV competitors.” ”

By manufacturing the vehicles in the US, SHM can take advantage of new tax incentives for US electric vehicle manufacturing and is also in a better position to challenge industry leaders like Tesla on its home turf.

Japanese automaker Toyota has been accused of being behind the curve on EV rollouts due to a lack of offerings, and a recent recall of one of its only all-electric vehicles is unlikely to help that perception. Honda currently only offers a single electric vehicle that is not for sale in North America. It was also a latecomer in the switch from internal combustion engines to electric motors.

SHM plans to sell its new electric vehicles online, with pre-orders starting in the first half of 2025 and sales starting towards the end of the year. Cars will be delivered to US buyers in spring 2026, with Japan also receiving deliveries of the new transport. A European release is being considered, but as with most things at the event, no additional information was provided. ® Sony and Honda collaborate on ‘premium’ electric vehicles • The Register

Rick Schindler

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