CES 2022 was marked by innovations in the metaverse, NFTs, crypto, and sustainability. But many of the greatest headlines from CES 2022 were in the arena of automotive news. Here are five stories that stood out from automakers that brought their best and brightest.
Sony’s VISION-S Initiative Becomes Sony Mobility
At CES 2020, Sony announced “VISION-S,” an initiative to bring Sony’s tech know-how into the world of mobility. There was a prototype sedan on display, and it was all the rage among automotive and PlayStation enthusiasts. Sony secretly started public road testing in Europe in December of the same year, and has now shared that they were conducting a number of driver experience tests featuring their cutting-edge vehicle technology platform under development.
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Two years after kindling their own automotive rumors, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida confirmed the establishment of Sony Mobility at CES 2022. During the announcement, Sony unveiled Vision-S 02, an electric crossover prototype, but offered no specific details about pricing or release dates. With the electric vehicle space getting more and more crowded as legacy OEMs and startups alike unveil their EV plans, Sony must be quite confident that they have something special to bring to the table as they launch Sony Mobility. We’ll be following this one closely.
Chevrolet and Cadillac Introduce Electric Concepts, an electric Silverado and More
Arguably the biggest headline out of CES 2022 was the full unveiling of the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV. With up to 400 miles of range, powerful performance and both luxury and work-oriented trims, the 2024 Silverado EV is positioned to fiercely compete with the F-150 Lightning and Rivian R1T. Who knows, maybe the Tesla CyberTruck will be trickling out of Tesla’s Gigafactory by the time the Silverado EV arrives in customer hands starting in 2023.
Electric vehicles are still expensive. Until prices come down, most consumers won’t be considering going electric for their next purchase. That’s why Chevrolet’s announcement of a $30,000 electric Equinox is a big deal for the whole industry. Coming in 2023, the Equinox EV will be based on GM’s highly-efficient and affordable Ultium platform.
Cadillac is slated to become the first GM brand to go all electric by 2030. The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq will be the first electric Cadillac to arrive at dealerships later this year, and it’s one beautiful luxury crossover. However, it turns out the Cadillac has even more ambitious plans on the table.
At CES, Cadillac introduced the funky and far-out InnerSpace concept. The InnerSpace ‘design experience,’ as Cadillac puts it, is the latest addition to their Halo Concept Portfolio. The InnerSpace is a two-passenger autonomous electric luxury concept vehicle that features nearly 360-degree panoramic views, massive LED displays with integrated augmented reality, and ‘wellness recovery’ features. It sure is something to think about.
Batteries Not Included: EV Startup VinFast Is Entering the US Market
VinFast has been taking the EV scene by storm. Part of their sudden popularity is probably due to the EV stock craze, but some of the attention is because of the different and controversial approach the Vietnamese startup is taking for power supply. VinFast says it will lease batteries to customers rather than including them as standard equipment. They likely took inspiration from Chinese electric automaker Nio’s success with battery swapping, but at least batteries come with their vehicles.
Also at CES 2022, VinFast shared prototypes of their upcoming electric SUVs, the VF-8 and VF-9. VinFast already began deliveries of its first electric SUV in Vietnam last year. It intends to deliver six EVs to international markets by mid-2023.
At CES, the company shared pricing for two models that are nearing production. The midsized VF 8 SUV will start at $41,000. The three-row VF 9 will start at $56,000. However, there’s a big catch. Those prices are without the battery! We’ll see how North American consumers feel about buying an EV without its most essential component.
Stellantis’ Chrysler Airflow Envisions an All-Electric Future for the Automaker
Talk about ambition! In 2022, Chrysler has zero electric vehicles for sale. In fact, it doesn’t intend to sell any EVs until 2025. No big deal, right? What if I told you that by 2028, Chrysler plans to be 100% electric? As crazy as that sounds, that’s exactly the plan that Stellantis shared with us at CES 2022. From the looks of it, they do have a promising EV in the works.
The 2025 Chrysler Airflow is a sleek electric sedan concept that may be closer to production than it seems. The automaker calls it a technology-forward design optimized for efficiency and driver experience. The Airflow integrates leading-edge drive-system technology with intuitive AI and connected vehicle technology that delivers 350- to 400-mile range. They also say it includes the new “STLA SmartCockpit, powered by STLA Brain, that enables an extension of digital, work and home environments, all in sync to create a personalized experience for every passenger.”
Chrysler also says that the Airflow will include STLA AutoDrive, a Level 3 autonomous driving system. That’s a bold claim considering that even the best driver assistance systems today are Level 2, requiring active monitoring at all times. The upcoming Chrysler EVs will also be upgradable via over-the-air (OTA) software updates.
The Mercedes Vision EQXX Is Engineered for Extreme Efficiency
As of 2022, the best long-range EVs on the market offer 400-500 miles of range on a single charge. Notably, the Lucid Air, Tesla Model S and brand-new Mercedes EQS are capable of going the distance. Now, Mercedes-Benz says it is aiming to bring an electric vehicle with more than 620 miles of range to the market by 2024.
The Vision EQXX concept is “more than just a car, it’s a technology program,” according to Mercedes-Benz Chief Technology Officer Markus Schäfer. The next-generation of Mercedes EVs will feature redesigned battery architecture that includes more silicon to increase energy density without making the battery any larger. If you’re in the market for a long-range luxury Mercedes, the German automaker has big plans for taking electric luxury to new heights.
You may have noticed something about the automotive headlines out of CES 2022: the golden era of EVs appears to be upon us. The roaring ‘20s are turning out to be the whirring ‘20s as electric motors make their way into seemingly every new auto. Whether consumers and infrastructure are ready or not, OEM investments in electrification seem unstoppable at this point. What do you think? Are you excited for what’s to come? Or do you see trouble on the horizon? We’ll keep you up to date as the industry transforms like never before.