Electronics giant announces plan to produce electric vehicles as it unveils prototype zero emission sports utility vehicle

Sony has unveiled plans to launch an electric vehicle (EV) company, with the electronics manufacturer’s chairman telling a news conference yesterday the firm is poised to launch a dedicated mobility company this Spring.

In a press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) conference in Las Vegas yesterday, Kenichiro Yoshida, chairman and president of the Japanese conglomerate, said Sony was “well-positioned as a creative entertainment company to redefine mobility”.

Yoshida said the firm intended to “explore entry into the EV market” through the launch of Sony Mobility Inc, as he unveiled a protype for an electric sports utility vehicle (SUV) dubbed the Vision-S 02.

The seven-seater car relies on the same platform and technology as the Vision-S 01, the concept car it unveiled in 2020 which it said was currently being tested on public roads.

Sony Mobility Inc’s business model would exploit artificial intelligence and robotics technologies with a view to realising “a world where everyone can live in harmony with robots on a daily basis”, the company said.

The announcement sent Sony Group’s stock price up by more than 4.5 per cent, according to the Financial Times.

Sony is the latest in a string of electronics and technology companies to explore the opportunity to break into the booming EV market, following the success of Tesla’s efforts to challenge the established auto giants. Apple has long been rumoured to be drawing up plans for a self-driving electric car that could launch before 2025, while other leading tech firms are thought to be eyeing the market. 

The sector already has strong ties with automotive companies. LG and Panasonic are among the most prolific EV battery suppliers on the market, whereas a range of major carmakers, including Volvo and Ford, rely on Google’s in-car ‘infotainment’ system.

However, building an auto business remains a costly and challenging undertaking, as demonstrated by household appliance giant Dyson’s high profile 2019 decision to scrap its multi-million pound project to develop an electric car.

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