Sony, Honda collaborate to develop and sell electric vehicles

TOKYO: Japan’s Sony Corp. and Honda Motor Co. Ltd. said on Friday that they would pair up to develop and sell battery-powered electric vehicles, and said that they were open to bringing in other partners.

The companies said in a statement that they would form a joint venture this year and aim to begin selling the first model in 2025. Honda will be responsible for manufacturing the first model, while Sony will develop the mobility service platform, they said.

“In the joint venture, we would like to lead the mobility evolution by combining our technology and experience with Honda’s long experience in mobility development and vehicle body manufacturing technologies,” Sony’s CEO Kenichiro Yoshida.

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The companies did not reveal financial details of the tie-up.

During a conference in Tokyo on Friday, Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe said also although he is not thinking about taking the joint venture public immediately, he would not dismiss that among the options to grow firm.

When asked whether the partnership between the two companies is exclusive, Mibe said that they are bringing in other companies while wanting to focus on developing the electric vehicle model for now.

“In future we would like to expand our business with an open mindset,” Mibe said, adding Honda will continue to develop its own electric vehicle strategy separate from the joint venture.

The announcement comes as the electronics maker was seeking to further its ambitions to become a key-player in next-generation automobiles, while automakers like Honda are under pressure to make carbon-free cars as well as vehicles equipped with features beyond traditional means of transportation.

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The rapid shift to embrace electric vehicles around the world, stoked by a global push to slash carbon emissions, creates opportunties  for tech companies to join the auto market since those vehicles are simpler to manufacture than cars carrying internal combustion engines.

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