The company said Wednesday that it’s thinking of joining the electric-vehicle market, and the Japanese electronics titan unveiled an electric sports utility vehicle prototype.
The news came at the CES technology show in Las Vegas.
Two years ago at the show, Sony showed a prototype sedan. But then the emphasis was on its sensors, rather than the production of a car. Now Sony appears as if it'll sell its own cars.
The prototype vehicle has seven seats and an all-wheel drive.
“By offering entertainment experiences utilizing the large interior space and variations of a 7-seater, this new prototype will … promote the accommodation of a large variety of lifestyles within a society where values are becoming increasingly diversified,” Sony said.
Over on Real Money, contributor Stephen "Sarge" Guilfoyle says Ford's (F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report EV moves are nothing short of electrifying, and he has new ideas on how to trade the stock, noting that within two years, Ford expects to have the capacity to produce 600,000 battery EVs per year. Read more about this trading strategy and get his investing ideas on Real Money.
Chrysler, the nearly 100-year-old, venerated American car brand, is also joining the electric-vehicle scrum, introducing its first EV. And its parent said it would go full electric battery by 2028.
Chrysler expects to introduce its car by 2025. The all-wheel-drive Airflow Concept car is to be driven by two 150kw electric motors, one in front and one in the rear. It will integrate intuitive artificial intelligence and connected vehicle technology. The company estimates that it will have a range of 350 to 400 miles (560 to 640 km) and will be connectable to fast chargers.
Upgrades to the cars' software will be delivered over the air. And the company says it will deliver autonomous-driving capability. Chrysler, which invented the minivan, recently introduced the Pacifica plug-in hybrid minivan.
As for the plan to go fully electric by 2028, Chrysler said it would be using "clean manufacturing processes" and recyclable and renewable materials.
With the introduction, the company joins a massive EV rivalry, led by Tesla (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report, but also featuring many American and international brands. Tesla has a first-mover advantage in electric vehicles and has run up an enormous following and market capitalization.
Will Electric Cars Be A Knockout Punch For Detroit?
The rise of electric vehicles is posing new challenges for Detroit.
In an analysis for the Wall Street Journal, Stephen Wilmot wrote that the supply chain shortages that have plagued the entire country throughout the pandemic are going to get worse as many buyers transition to electric cars.
The metals and other raw materials that go into making them are harder to obtain and currently in short supply due to escalating demand.
"Globally, optimistic forecasts for EV adoption are at odds with the slow ramp-up of metal supplies required for their batteries," Wilmot writes. "The dynamic is likely to reward those companies with the most robust supply agreements, which explains why the largest automakers have been investing in cell production and deals with miners."
As a major manufacturer, General Motors (GM) - Get General Motors Company Report is in a better position to solve these issues and gain back its leading ground in coming years — in the summer, it has committed to pouring $35 billion into electric vehicle development over the next four years.
Here are the top electric vehicle stocks to watch this week:
Tesla Opens Showroom in Xinjiang
Tesla (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report said it opened a showroom in Xinjiang, China, and the move has drawn fierce criticism from human-rights groups concerned about the country's treatment of Muslim minorities living there. The Austin electric-car maker considers China one of its most important markets.
The Wall Street Journal and other news services reported that on Friday, Tesla posted to its official account on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, which is similar to Twitter (TWTR) - Get Twitter, Inc. Report. "On the last day of 2021, we meet in Xinjiang. In 2022, let us together launch Xinjiang on its electric journey!" Tesla wrote in the post, according to the Journal.
Reuters reported, however, that United Nations experts and human-rights groups estimate that more than a million people are detained in camps in Xinjiang, which is in northwest China. The detainees include Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities, the news service reported. China has rejected accusations of forced labor or other abuses there, saying that the camps provide vocational training, Reuters reported.
Ford Aims to Challenge the No. 1 EV Spot
Ford Motor says it aims to challenge the No. 1 electric-vehicle spot currently occupied by Tesla. Ford shifted into high gear Tuesday, as the auto-making icon said it would nearly double production of its electric F-150 Lightning pickup at its Dearborn, Mich., facility to 150,000 vehicles a year "to meet soaring customer demand."
Ford shares more than doubled -- up 140% -- last year, surpassing both Tesla and General Motors (GM) - Get General Motors Company Report. And the automaker is making no secret about taking on Elon Musk & Co. for the top EV spot.
Ford said that "due to unprecedented customer interest," it is kicking off a wave-by-wave reservation process. The first group of reservation holders will be invited to place their orders for the F-150 Lightning beginning Thursday. Last month Ford said it had to stop taking reservations for the F-150 because interest in the vehicle was so great.
Nio Has Big Plans To Make Moves in 2022
NIO (NIO) - Get NIO Inc. (China) Report has made some moves, including listing a number of jobs, that suggest it plans to enter the U.S. market in 2022. The company also said that it will enter Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden in 2022, and reach 25 countries by 2025, at its annual Nio Day event.
Nio delivered 25,034 vehicles in the fourth quarter and 91,429 in 2021. Nio expects to begin delivering the ET7, a premium electric sedan, in March. And two weeks ago, Nio unveiled the ET5, a midsize electric sedan, and said it would begin delivering it to customers in September. The company's deliveries rose 50% in December and 44% in the fourth quarter and they doubled for the full year. In December, Nio reported, 10,489 electric vehicles were delivered, up 50% from a year earlier.
The company closed the year with over $7 billion on its balance sheet. It expects to deliver between "23,500 and 25,500 vehicles, representing an increase of approximately 35.4% to 46.9% from the same quarter of 2020," the company said in its Q3 earnings report.
Lucid Expects to Sell 20,000 Vehicles in 2022
Lucid Motors (LCID) - Get Lucid Group, Inc. Report delivered its first vehicles in the third quarter of 2021 and plans to ramp up in 2022, expecting to sell 20,000 vehicles by the end of the year. The company has added 2.85 million square feet to its Arizona manufacturing facility and it plans to have 20 studios and service centers open by the end of 2022. The company has also set a goal of expanding beyond the U.S.
Lucid recently proposed to offer $1.75 billion of convertible senior notes. The notes, due 2026, are to be sold in a private offering to institutional buyers. Lucid also expects to grant the initial purchasers an option on an additional $262.5 million of notes. The company intends to use the proceeds from the offering to "finance or refinance, in whole or in part, one or more new or existing 'Eligible Green Investments.'"
Xpeng Deliveries Tripled in 2021
XPeng (XPEV) - Get Xpeng Inc Report deliveries doubled in December and tripled in Q4 and full-year 2021. The Guangzhou company delivered 16,000 EVs in December 2021, exceeding its monthly delivery benchmark of 15,000 “despite ongoing global supply chain challenges.” For the month, customers took delivery of 7,459 of the model P7 sports sedan, 5,030 of the P5 family sedan, and 3,511 of the G3 and G3i. In particular, Xpeng said deliveries of the P5 “ramped up steadily” and the order backlog for the model is “solid.” The company delivered 41,751 cars in the quarter, more than half of them (21,342) the P7. And for the year, deliveries reached 98,155.
Xpeng's Chinese EV rival Li Auto (LI) - Get Li Auto Report also saw deliveries more than double last month and in the fourth quarter. The company's deliveries nearly tripled for the year. Li delivered 14,087 of the Model One in December; 35,221 in the quarter and 90,491 for the full year.
Rivian Has $92 Billion Market Cap
Rivian (RIVN) - Get Rivian Automotive, Inc. Class A Report has a $92 billion market cap even as it had produced only 652 vehicles and delivered 386 of those at the close of its first quarter as a public company. Rivian isn't trading based on what it has done so far, but instead on what investors expect the brand to deliver. That's still a very high bar for the company to reach as its market cap exceeds that of both Ford and General Motors.
Chief Executive RJ Scaringe, however, seems excited about the challenge and sees EVs as more than just a way to earn a profit in 2022. He's pretty passionate, or at least he appears to be, about the impact his company can make on the environment.