Skip to main content

Sony could enter EV market with its Vision-S vehicles

It was precisely 12 months ago at CES that Sony unveiled its Vision-S 01 concept electric vehicle (EV) design. That’s right, Sony, the company more famous for TVs, cameras, and consoles than cutting-edge cars.

Our excitement at the sedan’s dazzling design was tempered by the realization that the Japanese company would probably never actually manufacture the automobile.

But a year on and Sony has just announced that it could enter the EV industry after all.

Speaking during Sony’s keynote at CES on Tuesday, January 4, Sony president and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida announced the spring launch of a new company called Sony Mobility Inc. tasked with exploring the possibility of a commercial launch of not one Sony EV but two.

Sony’s second concept EV, a seven-seat SUV, rolled onto the stage to take its place beside Yoshida and the sedan that the company revealed last year and which is already undergoing road testing.

Exhibiting the same refined looks of the gorgeous sedan, the Vision-S 02’s expansive interior also includes the panoramic dash screen for controls and data as well as entertainment.

Sony also released a video (below) presenting its vision of how the Vision-S 02 might appear if it ever becomes a part of people’s lives.

VISION-S 02 | Concept Movie

Safety, adaptability, entertainment

“Vision-S has been developed on the foundation of safety, adaptability, and entertainment,” Yoshida told his audience in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

For safety, he pointed to the 40 Sony-made sensors installed inside and outside the vehicle designed to keep a watchful eye over everything that’s happening.

Adaptability, Yoshida said, “comes from Sony’s ability to personalize the cabin for each user,” though he declined to offer more details on exactly what he meant by this.

Given Sony’s background, “entertainment” is certainly easier to grasp, in this case involving the 360-degree reality audio system spoken of last year, gaming experiences via the panoramic dash screen and seat-back displays, and a fully integrated digital video service.

Sony's newly unveiled concept SUV EV (left) alongside the sedan it unveiled in 2021.

Highlighting the company’s prominent technologies and its evident interest in weaving them into vehicle design, Yoshida said: ”With our imaging and sensing, cloud, 5G, and entertainment technologies combined with our contents mastery, we believe Sony is well positioned as a creative entertainment company to redefine mobility.”

Part of Sony Mobility’s research is likely to focus on the way in which it might enter the market, from merely licensing its technology to other automakers, to partnering with others to some degree, to the mighty brave step of taking on the entire enterprise by itself. To build the Vision-S 01 concept, for example, Sony turned to contract automaker Magna Steyr, with Bosch, Valeo, and others also helping with the project.

While we don’t expect to see a Sony EV hitting dealerships anytime soon, it’s certainly an exciting development in an industry set for rapid expansion in the coming years. Now when is that other massive tech company going to finally unveil its EV?

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Are EVs more expensive than gas cars? It’s complicated
Front three quarter view of the 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge electric car.

Cost is a major consideration no matter what kind of car you're buying. Electric vehicles are great options for helping to save the environment, but what use is that if they're outside of your budget? Let's take a look at the factors that go into pricing electric vehicles and see how they stack up against traditional cars.

Do electric vehicles cost more than traditional cars?
Electric vehicles have a higher up-front cost than gas cars but are less expensive over the course of their lifetime, primarily due to cheaper fuel. Several studies break down this total cost of ownership. Consumer Reports estimates that "for all EVs analyzed, the lifetime ownership costs were many thousands of dollars lower than all comparable ICE (internal combustion engines) vehicles’ costs, with most EVs offering savings of between $6,000 and $10,000."

Read more
2022 Rivian R1S first drive review: An EV SUV fit for an expedition or a drag race
The front three-quarter view of a 2022 Rivian against a rocky backdrop.

Rivian beat the likes of Ford, General Motors, and Tesla to market with an electric pickup truck, but now it’s time for act two.

The 2022 Rivian R1S shares most of its DNA with the Rivian R1T pickup released late last year, but in place of a bed, it has a three-row cabin with seating for seven. It retains the R1T’s distinctive styling, impressive off-road capability, and improbable acceleration, but in a package for drivers who need to carry people instead of stuff.

Read more
How do electric cars work? EV motors and batteries explained
Electric GT e-Crate Motor Tesla battery

Electric vehicles function in fundamentally different ways than traditional cars. Internal combustion engines have loads of moving parts, and while EVs have their own complexities, they're much more digital than mechanical. Let's take a closer look at exactly how electric vehicles work.
How does an EV battery pack work?
Instead of gasoline, EVs derive their power from a battery pack, which usually stretches along the underside of the car to keep the weight as low as possible. It's composed of multiple modules, which are in turn broken down into individual battery cells, similar in size to AA batteries. A layer of coolant runs between cells since hot batteries are explodey batteries. A battery management system regulates that coolant and ensures that each cell drains at the same rate, which prolongs the life of the pack.


Read more