Electric cars

Sony joins race to develop electric cars despite lack of track record

Apple has been looking for ways to enter the market, while the Chinese Xiaomi and Huawei are also looking to develop their own vehicles.

However, other tech companies have struggled. Waymo, Google’s driverless car spin-off, said it doesn’t plan to make its own cars, while Dyson has scrapped plans to develop an electric vehicle.

Sony first unveiled a prototype vehicle two years ago and began testing it in December 2020 on European roads.

It allows drivers to use their own sounds such as music or speech when accelerating and decelerating to replace the traditional noise of gasoline engines.

Sony is also testing 5G connections on its cars, which it says could allow them to be driven remotely.

Sony shares rose more than 4% in Tokyo after the announcement, reflecting insatiable demand for electric car stocks.

Sony has a long history of diving into projects that struggle to achieve success, such as Betamax video, Aibo robots, and its MiniDisc music format which was quickly made obsolete by MP3 players.

Yet the company was the leader in professional video in the 1980s with the Betacam and Hi8 formats, when its Trinitron televisions have long been considered the best on the market.