The tech world has never been short of surprises, and the latest one is Sony stepping into the EV space. Yes, the same Sony that makes the popular PlayStation gaming console will soon be making EVs.
Apple is the electronic equipment maker that has long been suspected of making an electric car. However, Sony appears set to bring a pair of battery-powered vehicles to the market much sooner than Apple. In a presentation at CES 2022, the chairman, president, and CEO of Sony global, Kenichiro Yoshida, revealed two concept electric cars, the Vision-S 01 EV and the Vision-S 02 SUV.
We saw the Vision S EV concept car last year during a reveal at CES,. However, this year at CES, Sony brought it back but this time with a sibling.
While the cars on display were concepts, they look so close to production that Sony doesn’t need to change much to sell them.
Sony is so serious about this new venture that it already went ahead and registered a new company, Sony Mobility, to potentially bring these cars to the market. The company even has a working prototype that is not very far from a production version.
If that is not enough proof that Sony is committed to electric cars, the CEO prety much admitted in his CES keynote that that Sony is actively seeking opportunities to launch its own EVs.
Sony is already posting marketing videos for the Vision S 01 & Vision S 02, and it is clear the company is targeting customers at a the luxury range of the automobile spectrum. The videos also show the capabilities of the cars. For example, one clip shows a prototype driving about in Tokyo with nobody behind the steering wheel. The vehicle is actually being controlled remotely from Germany through a 5G connection. Think remote controlled driverless cars.
The Vision-S EV and Vision-S 02 are full of sensors both inside and outside, including CMOS imagers and LiDAR for autonomous operation. You can also use voice commands in the interior.
The cars are stylish enough to appeal to a broad customer base, with Sony refraining from weird styling like other companies with thier first forays into electric vehicles.
If Sony decides to start manufacturing these electric cars right away, it will face the global chip shortage on yet another front. It has already reported the difficulty of sourcing chips for its electronics business, hence why I had to score my PS5 on the secondary market. This is similar to other EV makers who have suffered a loss of revenue because they have had to cut production.
Perhaps, upon seeing this, Apple will be forced to step up its EV efforts, although Apple is not known for hurrying to release products.