The current automotive world is mostly about electrification and without any doubt, this process will completely change the picture of the industry. One of the most symptomatic things about electrification is that old and well-renowned carmakers don’t have a technological monopoly anymore. This fact means that a completely new automotive world order will be established.
That’s why it’s no wonder that many of the major carmakers are finding new partners for new joint ventures. One of the newest partnerships is between two Japanese giants, Honda and Sony. From what we know so far, the new partnership will be officially established this year, while the first EV models will arrive in 2025.
What’s the Plan?
Well, things are pretty simple here. The joint venture will bring a new joint company, which will plan, design, develop and sell the EVs. Of course, Honda will supply manufacturing facilities, while Sony will be responsible for the mobility service platform.
The two companies will share all kinds of technologies in order to design new vehicles. It’s no secret that Honda has been a little bit late in the game regarding electrification. Still, this will change with the new partnership. This is primarily because of the fact that Sony has already made significant progress in this aspect. The Japanese company presented a full load of new technologies in the recent concepts, which came in 2020 and 2022.
The 2020 concept is called Sony Vision S. It comes equipped with two 268-hp electric motors, which ensure 0-60 time in 4.5 seconds. This concept came in the form of a sedan and probably the most interesting part of its design is the technology package, which includes all kinds of highly sophisticated tech and gadgets.
The second concept had a premiere in January and it came as the Vision-S 02. It features similar aesthetics as the first concept, but it comes in a form of an SUV. The interior features are particularly interesting in this case. Besides all those screens that were also present in the Vision S concept, there are things like ToF sensors for driver authentication and navigation gestures. Voice commands and 5G connectivity are also on the list of features, just like the advanced semi-autonomous driving system.
Interestingly, Sony didn’t come up with any details regarding battery and max range.
“Through this alliance with Honda, which has accumulated extensive global experience and achievements in the automobile industry over many years and continues to make revolutionary advancements in this field, we intend to build on our vision to ‘make the mobility space an emotional one,’ and contribute to the evolution of mobility centered around safety, entertainment and adaptability.”
Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida
“The New Company will aim to stand at the forefront of innovation, evolution, and expansion of mobility around the world, by taking a broad and ambitious approach to creating value that exceeds the expectations and imagination of customers. We will do so by leveraging Honda’s cutting-edge technology and know-how in relation to the environment and safety, while aligning the technological assets of both companies.”
Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe
What About Partnership With General Motors?
As we already mentioned, Honda is a little bit late in the game when it comes to electrification. Still, the Japanese manufacture can’t afford to wait three more years to start with the production of such vehicles. Therefore, the Japanese manufacturer already started a partnership with General Motors. This partnership will probably serve as some kind of bypass until Honda and Sony come up with new models in 2025.
From what we know so far, Honda will use GM’s battery technology, while the rest of the vehicles will be designed by the Japanese manufacturer. This refers to GM’s Ultium battery technology, which supports a capacity of up to 200 kWh. Also, this technology supports a variety of fast-charging options.
The first model that will come out from this partnership will arrive already in the next year. It will come as the 2024 Honda Prologue and from what we know so far, it will be a compact SUV, with similar proportions to the company’s best-seller, the CR-V.
At this point, we don’t know much about this SUV. We presume that the battery design will be shared with Cadillac Lyriq. This would mean 100 kWh of capacity, which would ensure around 300 miles of range. On the other hand details about power and performances are still unknown. We expect that base models will come with a single electric motor at the front, while the rear electric motor will be optional.
When it comes to the price, we expect that base versions will cost around 45.000 dollars. The debut is about to happen in late 2023.