Afeela plans further models and launch in Europe


Sony and Honda’s new electric car brand Afeela is already planning more models and a market entry in Europe, according to a British media report. The joint venture Sony Honda Mobility (SHM) has just presented the new brand at the CES, including a first sedan study.

The British publication Autocar says that Yasuhide Mizuno, CEO of the new joint venture, revealed that after the planned sales start in North America at the end of 2025, the electric sedan will also be launched in Europe about one year later.

The report also reveals that Afeela is already planning the next models to be launched fairly soon after the sedan. As Mizuno is reported to have said on the sidelines of the CES in Las Vegas, Afeela is considering launching an electric SUV, a second electric sedan, and possibly an electric van. “We’re thinking about the second and third models. We need a line-up. Not only one unit, finish,” Yasuhide Mizuno, chairman and CEO of SMH told Autocar.

Sony revealed the concept of an electric SUV at CES 2022. Here, it seems the VISION-S 01 sedan E-study that Sony presented two years earlier has served as a visual template for the sedan study now unveiled under the Afeela logo. Sony and Honda have not yet disclosed details of the model’s drive. The only known technical details are the dimensions (4.9 x 1.9 x 1.46 m), a wheelbase of three metres and the fact that the vehicle will have all-wheel drive.

According to Autocar, Mizuno has confirmed that Afeela will use Honda’s future electric car platform called e:Architecture, which will be introduced at Honda in the second half of the decade to bring in the BEV era at Honda. Honda’s Prologue electric SUV is still initially expected to be based on General Motors’ Ultium platform and will be launched in North America in 2024. There are also plans for a purely electric model from Honda’s Acura brand, which will also be based on GM’s Ultium platform. So far, Honda has not disclosed any key points about the e:Architecture.

The joint venture between Sony and Honda was officially unveiled in October 2022, although the name Sony Honda Mobility (SHM) was set in the summer of 2022. Each partner has a 50 per cent stake in the Tokyo-based company, which has been given an initial capital of 10 billion yen (around 70 million euros). Although the joint venture is between two Japanese corporations and is based in the Japanese capital, the vehicles it makes will be produced in North America. In October, it was said that as of the second half of 2026, Japan will also be the focus of the market. According to the latest information, the same apparently applies to Europe.

SHM attaches great importance to the thrust of merging mobility and entertainment in its future vehicles. Mizuno said last week that it wants to “create a new mobility lifestyle and revolutionise the mobility sector as a mobility tech company”. “An SUV is the usual [next step], but maybe [an] MPV,” Mizuno said. “It depends on autonomous driving development. If we reach level three, level four, then perhaps everybody needs a ‘party car’.”

The plan is, for example, to integrate real and virtual worlds in the car. “Our goal is to enable intuitive navigation through augmented reality (AR) with our sensor technology,” says Mizuno. To enable this degree of technological advancement, SHM has launched a development collaboration with Epic Games. Qualcomm is acting as a chip supplier and also as a strategic development partner.