2022 is going to be a massive year for the electric vehicle industry. Global giants, Sony and Honda announced on March 4, 2022 that they will team up to develop and sell electric vehicles. They’ve also invited other automobile companies to join their project. With the aim of launching their first product in 2025, the two companies have divided responsibilities to streamline the process.
Joint venture of automobile innovation
Kenichiro Yoshida, Sony CEO, said that in this venture they would like to lead the mobility evolution by combining their technology and experience with Honda’s long experience in mobility development and vehicle body manufacturing technologies.
During the press conference, which was held in Tokyo, Japan, Toshihiro Mibe, Honda CEO, said that they don’t plan to take this venture public anytime soon but are open to that idea. This partnership comes at the exact time Honda has been under pressure for developing carbon-free automobiles. Sony, on the other hand, wants to transform into an important player in next generation vehicles. While they didn’t reveal any financial data, they promised that their product will be equipped with features beyond the traditional ones offered today.
This announcement comes weeks after Sony announced that they’re forming a new company, Sony Mobility, to enter the EV market. They also released the prototype for their very first SUV, VISION-S 02.
Other tech companies expanding into the EV industry
Baidu and Xiaomi, two major Chinese technology companies, announced recently that they’ve formed an electric vehicle brand as well. Xiaomi announced they’ll be investing $10 billion over the next 10 years in their company, Xiaomi EV, Inc. It is already 300 employees strong.
Baidu formed a joint venture with Chinese automobile maker Geely. It is called Jidu and Baidu just recently invested $400 million after they received $300 million in funding in initial capital last year. It will be used towards research, development, and mass manufacturing.
Competition on rise in the EV market
The main focus of this competition is going to be about making batteries cheaper, faster, and less vulnerable to raw material shortages. Today, batteries cost one-third of the total making costs. Automakers and tech companies understand that there’s a big demand for electric vehicles and are investing in EV startups, so they aren’t left behind.
Tesla, which has the biggest market share in the EV industry, still depends on Asian markets for their batteries. US President Biden has encouraged companies to move their battery supply chain to the country, so political and geographical factors don’t interrupt the production.