What's going on?
Not content with releasing the festive season’s most coveted console, entertainment giant Sony announced plans this week to boot up its own electric vehicle (EV) business.
What does this mean?
Sony’s been test-driving the car industry for a while now: the company already makes sensors and electronic components for carmakers, and even whipped up its own EV prototype back in 2020 to show them all off. But this year, it’s going full throttle: Sony announced earlier this week that it’s launching Sony Mobility, a new company designed to break into the EV market (tweet this). And to go along with that, it’s unveiled a state-of-the-art model kitted out with panoramic screens, seat speakers, and PlayStation game-streaming.
Why should I care?
The bigger picture: So much for the conspiracy theories.
Some analysts reckon Sony might simply be trying to market its tech to other EV makers without shifting its focus at all. And it wouldn’t be the first time, with high-profile companies like Google having spent years experimenting with cars without ever going to market. But this might not be the gimmick skeptics think it is. After all, the likes of Apple, Xiaomi, and Foxconn have all ventured into EVs in a bid to shore up their businesses in the face of slowing smartphone and PC markets. And since a few of Sony’s own electronics products are in a slump too, the entertainment giant might’ve had the same idea.
Zooming out: Carmakers want Tesla’s spot.
Traditional carmakers are flocking to the EV market too, all aiming to overthrow market leader Tesla. Just look at Volkswagen and Toyota: the world’s two biggest carmakers – which each sold about ten cars for every one car that Tesla sold last year – announced $170 billion in EV investments last month. And maybe they’re right to dream big: IHS Markit reckons Tesla’s 50% market share in the US could drop to roughly 20% by 2025.