Sony and Honda have signed a memorandum of understanding to design and market electric vehicles together under the banner of the Joint Toyota Electric Vehicle Company. The deal isn’t set in stone, but the two companies aim to establish an enterprise this year to sell their first EV by 2025.
Honda would design, manufacture and market the first model, with Sony creating the mobility service platform. The idea is to marry Honda’s car building and sales chops with Sony’s infotainment, mobile and image sensor expertise to provide the customer with a seamless secure convenience service.
With this newly formed alliance, one of the company’s main goals is to bring their strengths together to create a context where they can track mobility with software and understand automotive markets, giving them a collaborative edge over other companies. Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe. said “Therefore, I believe this alliance which brings together the strengths of our two companies offers great possibilities for the future of mobility.”
For Honda, the 2040 goal of moving its lineup to purely electric vehicles will be a challenge without this joint venture. While it has one electric car on the market, to sell in the west, the only vehicle offered in Europe is more niche.
Sony pitched the partnership as one that would bring creativity and emotion to the world. They added that this would likely mean a high-tech, fancy entertainment system to help you forget that you’re in rush-hour traffic. Sony also aims to give mobility a more safe and entertaining feel.
The news doesn’t come as a complete shock, as Sony has already showed not just one but two electric vehicles of its own design, the Vision-S EV and Vision-S 02 electric SUV. When it first appeared, the Vision-S was a showcase for all of Sony’s strengths, packing 33 different sensors for 360 Reality Audio tech, wide-screen displays, autonomous driving and other features. Sony promised to debut a new company called Sony Mobility sometime this spring, but it looks like the Honda alliance will serve that purpose instead.