Sony and Honda want to make their EV partnership a standalone business

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Sony and Honda recently announced plans to build electric vehicles together, with Honda focusing on manufacturing and Sony creating the mobility services platform. Now it looks like the companies are planning to turn it into a separate company. “We shared the view that it is better to make the joint venture independent in the long term rather than placing it under Sony or Honda,” Sony president and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida told Nikkei.

Yoshida did not provide further details, but said it is a “possibility” that the companies sell a stake in the joint venture or go public. “I hope to be able to talk a little bit about it in the near future,” he added.

The companies announced the joint venture in March. Sony said it aimed to “fill the world with emotion through the power of creativity and technology,” likely through high-tech interiors and fancy entertainment systems. It added that it wants to create a mobility system “centered around safety, entertainment and adaptability”.

Last year, Honda announced plans to shift its entire vehicle range to EVs and fuel cell vehicles by 2040. As part of that, it will invest $40 billion and launch 30 new EVs by 2030. It’s not clear yet how the Sony-up fits into those plans, but Honda is way behind rivals – the only real EV sold in the west is the niche, the Honda E, for Europe only.

Sony apparently believes that other tech companies like Apple will soon jump into the fray and that EVs will become more connected, much like game consoles or the company’s Aibo robot dog. “Mobility is increasingly becoming a service,” he says. “We want to contribute to the evolution of mobility by laying the groundwork with network functions.”

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