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Sony, Honda team up to develop and sell electric vehicles

Sony, Honda team up to develop and sell electric vehicles

Japan’s Sony Corp and Honda Motor Co Ltd said on Friday they would pair up to develop and sell battery-powered electric vehicles, as the electronics maker furthers its ambitions to become a key player in next-generation automobiles.

The two companies said in a statement they would form a joint venture this year and aim to begin selling the first model in 2025. Honda will be responsible for manufacturing the first model, while Sony will develop the mobility service platform, they said.

The presidents of both companies will hold a news conference in Tokyo at 5 p.m. (0800 GMT) on Friday. Sony’s Chief Executive Kenichiro Yoshida announced in January a plan to create a new company, Sony Mobility, saying it was exploring a commercial launch of electric vehicles.

Although its once-dominant position in consumer electronics has been eroded by Asian rivals like South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co, Sony still has an arsenal of sophisticated technology in areas such as sensors critical to autonomous driving.

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The rapid shift to embrace electric vehicles around the world, stoked by a global push to slash carbon emissions, creates opportunities for tech companies to join the auto market since those vehicles are simpler to manufacture than cars carrying internal combustion engines.

At the same time, those tech companies face challenges of meeting rigorous safety regulations for vehicles, and making cars capable of withstanding sometimes difficult driving conditions.