Elon Musk may soon have some serious competition. Sony Group just debuted its latest electric concept car: the Vision-S 02 SUV.
According to the company, the electric prototype vehicle “accommodates diverse values and lifestyles.” It’s similar in size to the Tesla Model Y and can seat up to seven passengers. The dual-motor powertrain setup delivers all-wheel drive and 536 horsepower. The SUV can reach a top speed of more than 112 mph. Sony has yet to confirm details about the vehicle’s battery size and range.
Considering an electronics and entertainment giant masterminded this prototype, it’s no surprise that technology is front-and-center. The SUV is equipped with 5G network connectivity, sensors for 360-degree vision around the car, and seat speakers. Its dashboard sports a large, high-definition panoramic screen. There are also screens for rear passengers, who can play Playstation games by connecting remotely to a PlayStation console at home.
The Japanese corporation showcased the electric prototype vehicle at CES 2022. The consumer electronics show, organized by the Consumer Technology Association, takes place in January at the Las Vegas Convention Center each year and showcases some of the world’s most innovative tech.
The Vision-S 02 features the same EV/cloud platform as its predecessor. Sony debuted its first prototype electric vehicle, the Vision-S 01, at CES 2020. It began testing the sedan on public roads in Europe later that year.
Sony set to join the growing electric car market
Eager to get your hands on the sleek, new electric SUV? It may be hitting showroom floors sooner than you think. Sony has also unveiled plans for becoming a car manufacturer. It will be launching a subsidiary electric car company—Sony Mobility Inc.—this spring, which will allow it to enter the burgeoning EV market.
Automakers like Ford Europe, Honda, and Volvo have all announced ambitious plans for going all-electric. With more than ten million electric cars on the road today, companies are forgoing gas in order to meet the growing demand for emissions-free vehicles.
According to the International Energy Agency, electric car sales around the world increased from zero to 10.2 million between 2010 and 2020. Last year alone, 6.4 million electric cars were sold, a surge of 26 percent.
Big tech companies like Sony are increasingly venturing into the EV space. Many of them have already been involved in the automotive market in some capacity—creating components like audio systems and console interfaces for electric cars. Many of the electronics companies also already produce the lithium-ion batteries found in EV vehicles.
One such company is Apple, which has been working on an electric car concept since 2014. Rumor has it that the iPhone giant will announce its Apple Car this year with an expected launch by 2025.
In October 2021, technology group Foxconn—which supplies products for Apple and Sony—unveiled three electric vehicle prototypes: a sedan, an SUV, and a bus. Earlier that year, Chinese smartphone producer Xiaomi revealed plans to invest $10 billion over the next decade to manufacture electric vehicles. The company, which registered its own EV division in September 2021, is expected to launch its first electric car in 2024.