Sony and Honda Gear Up to Launch Afeela EV Globally in 2026

Japanese corporate giants Sony and Honda have revealed major details on their new joint venture electric vehicle (EV), including the official name Afeela and a planned global rollout in 2026.

First announced in early 2022, the collaboration brings together Honda’s automotive engineering and manufacturing with Sony’s expertise in sensors, telecommunication, network services, and entertainment. With sleek looks previewed in concept images, the upcoming Afeela reflects the partners’ vision to create an exciting new EV experience.

“Afeela represents our concept for a new type of mobility centered around people, design, technology, and sustainability,” said Izumi Kawanishi, President and CEO of Sony Honda Mobility. “By bringing together our respective strengths, Sony and Honda will offer new value through Afeela unmatched by traditional automakers.”

Sony and Honda Gear Up
Source – The Verge

While technical specifications are still few, Sony Honda states the Afeela will feature over 45 sensors inside and outside the vehicle to enable automated and assisted driving functionality as well as intelligent safety features.

“You can expect very advanced driver assistance in the Afeela allowing for autonomous operation on highways and traffic jam assistance,” said Toshihiro Mibe, Honda President and CEO. “We aim to achieve industry-leading safety performance compatible with future higher levels of autonomous driving.”

The Afeela exterior sports a sleek aerodynamic profile reflecting Sony’s Sense of Authenticity and Honda’s Sense of Proportion design philosophies. Inside, a welcoming atmosphere with airy, flat floors provides space rivaling luxury vehicles.

Also Read – Honda Considers Massive $14B Investment in Canadian EV Production

Sustainability has been declared a key pillar of the Afeela, with previews suggesting extensive use of recyclable materials and renewable bio-fabric in the interior. The vehicle will utilize Honda’s e: Architecture dedicated EV platform to enable high performance and range.

“Sustainability is essential to our long-term vision, so Afeela is being designed with environmentally responsible processes and materials with outstanding energy efficiency,” said Yasuhide Mizuno, CEO of Sony Honda Mobility.

While pricing and sales plans are still to come, Sony Honda has confirmed that the Afeela will first become available in North America in early 2026, followed by Europe and Asia. The partners are targeting initial annual sales of 100,000 units globally by 2025, ramping up to a million by 2030 as more models are added to the lineup.

“This is no niche luxury showcase piece, but the first of many EVs targeting large-volume global markets,” said Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota which has ties to Sony Honda through its partnership with Honda. “With Sony and Honda combining forces, they have massive resources to truly challenge established players.”

Yet despite the heavyweights behind it, the Afeela faces intense competition entering the EV space. Virtually every major automaker now has electric models planned or available amidst swiftly rising adoption.

“The key differentiator for Sony Honda will be fulfilling that promise of an exceptional, captivating mobility experience harnessing technologies not usually found in cars,” said Asami Sasaki, an EV industry analyst. “Success requires attracting buyers beyond just specification sheets by delivering a product that stands out.”

Sony and Honda Gear Up
Source – AFEELA

By focusing on emotional appeal through design and digital services, Sony Honda aims to build loyalty across customer generations. Company leaders have also emphasized post-purchase relationships, including connecting owners to engage socially with their mobility options.

However, some critics question whether entering the automotive hardware business fits Sony and Honda’s core capabilities. The rapid software evolution expected in next-generation vehicles and disruptive startups like Tesla poses stiff challenges to profitability.

But with resources available to spend years progressing towards their ambitious targets, Sony and Honda calculate that melding their expertise creates an electric mobility powerhouse others will need to catch up to. As the Afeela takes shape for its 2026 worldwide premiere, we’ll find out if this unique collaboration can carve out leadership in the dawning EV future.

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