An electric vehicle joint venture set up by Sony Group Corp. and Honda Motor Co. plans to deliver its first EVs in North America in the spring of 2026, it said Thursday.

Sony Honda Mobility Inc. will produce its cars at a Honda plant in North America and start taking orders mainly online from the first half of 2025, with delivery in Japan expected to follow in the latter half of 2026, it said.

The Tokyo-based company was launched last month with the aim of producing next-generation EVs by combining Sony's expertise in sensors and entertainment and Honda's car-making skills. It is also considering selling the vehicles in Europe, it said, without giving any timeframe.

"We need to take different approaches than those of traditional automakers to lead innovations in mobility," Sony Honda Mobility CEO Yasuhide Mizuno told a press conference in Tokyo. "We will be a new company, a mobility-technology company, which is built around software technologies."

Sony Honda Mobility Inc. President and COO Izumi Kawanishi (L) and Chairman and CEO Yasuhide Mizuno shake hands in Tokyo on Oct. 13, 2022. (Kyodo)

The company is planning to utilize the metaverse, a virtual-reality space where people can socialize, work and play, and other types of entertainment in creating unique passenger experience while also adding partial self-driving capabilities, it said.

The two Japanese companies announced the venture plan in March as automakers worldwide ramp up partnerships beyond industries to cope with a rapid shift from gasoline-engine cars to electric vehicles.

Sony and Honda each have a 50 percent stake in the new venture, which is capitalized at 10 billion yen ($68 million).

Related coverage:

Honda to realize carbon neutrality for motorcycles in 2040s

Honda, LG Energy to set up $4.4 bil. EV battery venture in U.S.

Sony shifting focus to metaverse to harness gaming, music expertise