TOKYO (Reuters) – Sony is joining forces with automaker Honda to create a new company that will develop and sell electric vehicles, the electronics giant said on Friday, its latest step into the growing sector.
Major global automakers are increasingly prioritizing electric and hybrid vehicles as concerns about climate change grow.
The news from Sony follows the unveiling in January of a new prototype, its Vision-S electric vehicle, and the announcement that its new subsidiary Sony Mobility will explore the sector.
Sony Group said in a statement on Friday that the two Japanese names hope to establish their business by the end of this year, calling it a “strategic alliance”.
“This alliance aims…to realize a new generation of mobility and services that are closely aligned with users and the environment,” Sony said in a statement.
Sales of their first electric model are expected to begin in 2025, with Honda responsible for its manufacture but the two companies working on design, technology and sales.
“Although Sony and Honda are companies that share many historical and cultural similarities, our areas of technological expertise are very different,” said Sony Group Chairman Kenichiro Yoshida.
“I believe that this alliance that brings together the strengths of our two companies offers great possibilities for the future of mobility.”
Right now, around 10% of car sales in Europe are electric vehicles, and the US figure is just 2%.
But demand is growing and other major automakers, including Japanese rivals Honda, are pouring money and resources into electric vehicles.
Earlier this year, the Nissan car alliance promised to offer 35 new electric models by 2030, announcing a total investment of $25 billion in the sector.
Toyota, the world’s top-selling automaker, also recently raised its 2030 electric vehicle sales target by 75% as part of a more ambitious plan for the sector.