Afeela: With their new brand “Afeela,” the Japanese electronics and media company Sony has become the tech giant that might have figured out how to make the rubber meet the road. The company is working with Honda to make a new electric vehicle (EV) starting in 2026. It will probably be made at Honda’s facilities in the US to take advantage of new tax credit rules for EVs.
The joint venture, called Sony Honda Mobility, will focus a lot on subscription features and Sony’s huge library of video games and media properties for in-car entertainment. These will be sold under the brand name Afeela. When the driver and passengers are waiting for the EV to charge or when the self-driving features are turned on, these services will be used. CEO Yasuhide Mizuno has said that the company wants to offer leases for up to 10 years, which is much longer than most people own cars today. This will be supported by frequent software updates and feature additions that can be done over the air.
It could change how cars are made and how people use them
You are not the only one who thinks all of that sounds more like a toy or appliance than a car. But when two big companies like Honda and Sony back something new, it could change how cars are made and how people use them.
The latest prototype is a sleek EV sedan with screens across the width of the dashboard, 45 sensors and cameras for semi-autonomous driving assistance, and all-wheel drive, and hints that augmented reality and “virtual worlds” will be built into the driving experience.
This could open up a whole new market for Sony
Izumi Kawanishi, who is the COO of Sony Honda Mobility, has said that software is the most important thing and that the company wants to switch from selling hardware to selling software. With Honda’s manufacturing know-how, this could open up a whole new market for Sony, which already has a huge presence in entertainment media and the devices we use to watch it.
The name “Afeela” has been made fun of on social media since it was first shown at CES earlier this month. But because the EV market is growing so quickly, this joint venture will face a lot of problems over the next three years. Afeela is a sign that the market for electric vehicles (EVs) is growing, as real, serious companies jump in to own the digital future of cars, which will be made up of subscription services, data, and software-driven features.