ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Sony revealed it is entering the electric vehicle (EV) market by creating and selling its own EVs, according to a news release. The consumer electronics company has already created a prototype vehicle (VISION-S 01) and is testing it on public roads in Europe.
Sony is calling its new phase “VISION-S” and is creating a unit called Sony Mobility Inc. to explore entry into the EV market.
At CES 2022, Sony announced and exhibited a seven-seat SUV-type prototype vehicle (VISION-S 02) as a new form factor. It had displayed an EV sedan at CES two years ago, but at the time, Sony said it didn’t plan to sell a Sony car, according to the Wall Street Journal. The SUV uses the same EV/cloud platform as the prototype (VISION-S 01), which is being tested on public roads.
The SUV prototype has 40 sensors installed, reports the Journal, and it eventually will offer Level 4 autonomous driving, which is when the car drives itself without human involvement under certain conditions.
Because EVs rely heavily on software controls, it’s an easy foray into the market for electronics companies. The Journal reports that Apple has explored entering the EV market for years, although it has never released details about its plans. Sony supplies many parts for Apple because of Sony’s image-sensing technologies. Sony makes parts used in iPhones and other smartphones.
Also at CES 2022, General Motors unveiled an all-electric Chevrolet Silverado, according to a news release. At launch, the Silverado EV will be available in two configurations, an RST First Edition and a fleet-oriented WT model. The Silverado EV will offer an expected GM-estimated 400-mile range on a full charge.
GM’s EV Silverado is an answer to Ford’s unveiling of its electric F-150 pickup truck last year, with deliveries of the EV F-150 beginning this spring. Ford announced Tuesday that it’s nearly doubling the production capacity electric F-150 pickup to 150,000 annually to help meet demand.
“With nearly 200,000 reservations, our teams are working hard and creatively to break production constraints to get more F-150 Lightning trucks into the hands of our customers,” said Kumar Galhotra, president of The Americas & International Markets Group, Ford Motor Co.
Blink announced seven new charging products at CES 2022, including chargers for fleet, public and home use. Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the EQXX, a new electric concept car that the automaker says will be able to travel 620 miles on a single charge, based on computer modeling.
Mercedes set a goal for half of its sales to be EVs by 2025 and virtually all electric by 2030. The automaker aims to produce a vehicle based on the EQXX technology in 2024.
A recent Convenience Matters podcast episode discusses how EVs are the future, and another episode explains how convenience retailers can attract and retain EV customers. A free NACS webinar helps retailers understand how EVs and environmentally conscious consumers will affect your business.