Almost exactly a year ago, Sony presented a concept electric car called the Vision-S at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, which came as a surprise at the time. The group is best known as a manufacturer of consumer electronics including the PlayStation game console, but it also has a significant sensor and semiconductor business. Observers therefore assumed that with the Vision-S he primarily wanted to demonstrate what is possible with its components and elegant software integration. But for the current CES, which this year is purely virtual, Sony presented additional material that at least makes starting with your own electric car seem more likely.
Suppliers look forward to Sony cooperation
Perhaps the clearest indication of this is the fact that a prototype of the Vision electric car has now passed some driving tests on real roads, as Sony showed in a video. In addition, several well-known suppliers from the auto industry, including the German Bosch, Continental and ZF, have their say in another video, all of whom say they are looking forward to further cooperation with Sony. A representative of the Austrian contract manufacturer Magna Steyr, for example, says that building the prototype was only “the beginning of the collaboration”.
Sony revealed the first data on its electric car, which from the front is reminiscent of the Porsche Taycan as well as the Tesla Model 3 and otherwise the slippery shape that is common today, as early as 2020. At that time, all-wheel drive with 536 hp and acceleration to 100 km / h in 4.8 seconds, the company also mentioned a special audio experience and a software-oriented design. Electric car core data such as range and charging speed were not mentioned this year, nor was a date for the market launch.
Nevertheless, the idea of an electric car from a technology company has its appeal – and its advantages over the variant that has become increasingly widespread since the success of Tesla and that traditional manufacturers are trying to develop a concept that is new to them. Because, as a BMW manager just explained, the real challenge for the established industry is not in converting the drive, but rather in the fact that Tesla creates cars as platforms for continuously upgradeable software.
Apple is also said to be planning an electric car
IT and electronics companies like Sony have more experience in this area than car manufacturers, who are only just beginning to develop these skills in-house. Recently, more and more reports were being made about Apple’s electric car plans, to which this consideration also applies. In this environment, you almost get the impression that moving hardware, as traditional manufacturers have mastered and optimized for decades, is now the smaller problem. In this respect, there could perhaps really soon not only be an electric car from the smartphone inventor, but also from the (albeit still decidedly) analog Walkman.