Electric cars are so hot right now, and why shouldn’t they be? They’re comfortable, efficient, and (usually) a blast to drive. But for the companies that build them, EVs can be so much more: An entryway to new markets, a testbed for new tech, or maybe an entirely new product line altogether.
Apple has jumped on the non-automakers-making-autos train already, and Sony has released not one but two EV concepts. It makes sense: Both corporations have decades of experience with electric motors, batteries, and user experience — the latter of which could be the biggest differentiator between brands in an increasingly crowded EV market. It makes perfect sense for them to swing for the fences on electric cars. (That’s also what made British appliance company Dyson’s foray into automaking seem compelling, though not much seems to be happening there lately.) What other companies should get in on the fun?
A non-automotive company moving into the EV market could bring something new and unexpected to the table. Most EV makers right now have spent decades building conventional cars, and the core concept of how they design vehicles is unchanged. What could a newcomer design differently, with no old ways holding them back?
My pick for a non-automaker that should start building electric cars is an odd one: Fender. I know, the guitar maker doesn’t have the same experience with motors and batteries that other car-curious tech companies do, but hear me out. I think I’m onto something.
Fender has existing relationships with traditional automakers, who can lend advice on the unique challenges of building a car. That would leave the company free to focus on one of the most important parts of the EV experience — how an electric vehicle feels. How you experience it, primarily through one core aspect of a car — sound.
Sound is an integral part of traditional ICE cars, and EVs are no different. Fender has decades of experience precisely fine-tuning sounds and replicating them in a completely electronic format. It’s the perfect company to make EVs sound fun — which is half the battle to making them feel fun.
My pick for a non-carmaker that should get into the EV game is Fender, but what’s yours? Leave your best ideas in the comments, and we’ll pick our favorites on Monday.