Sony Likely Open to New Partners for EV Project Says Executive
It seems Sony may be willing to partner with new technology partners to bring its electric vehicle (EV) project to fruition.
An unnamed Sony executive was recently reported to have said that the company would likely add new partners to its EV project, the VISION-S initiative, to help it found a mobility business that transforms cars into entertainment spaces.
Sony announced the Vision-S initiative during CES 2020, along with the launch of its new EV division called Sony Mobility Incorporated. This new division is expected to accelerate the company's efforts in entering the EV market. At the same time, it explores the commercial release of its first EVs: the Vision-S 01 and the recently revealed Vision-S 02.
The company said that its EV project would enter a new development phase during CES 2022, which focuses on its EVs' safety, adaptability and entertainment. According to Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida, the Vision-S EVs feature 40 CMOS image sensors to monitor the car's safety, 5G connectivity and entertainment systems, consisting of Sony's 360 reality audio, gaming capabilities and BRAVIA Core. The EVs' 5G connectivity feature also provides each passenger with personalisation options to customise the cabin.
Currently, Sony has partnered with many companies in Europe focused on developing and manufacturing car parts and the necessary technologies to make them run. These companies include French automotive supplier Valeo SE, Hungarian automotive technology startup aiMotive and German smart mobility solutions developer Bosch. It has also partnered with Magna International, a Canadian auto parts maker which also makes cars for BMW, Mercedes Benz, Toyota Motor Corp and other car brands.
However, Takaki Nakanishi, automotive analyst at the Nakanishi Research Institute in Tokyo, said that Sony would likely have to invest heavily in its EVs' creation and equipment to market enough units to compete effectively. He also mentioned that Sony wouldn't be able to emulate Tesla's success in the EV market due to the hurdles in the market being "too high".
"It's going to be a tough business to succeed in," Nakanishi said.
You may remember that Tesla spent billions of dollars to make its business viable, relying on investor backing to get through years of losses.
Through the debut of its Vision-S 01 prototype, Sony has joined other companies that want to get into the EV business. These companies include Apple with its EV project codenamed "Titan", Taiwanese multinational electronics contract manufacturer Foxconn Technology and Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi.
Written by John Paul Joaquin