Dyson to build electric car by 2020

Dyson to build electric car by 2020
Dyson to build electric car by 2020

Inventor and businessman Sir James Dyson has announced that his firm – best known for its vacuum cleaners – is to enter the electric car marketplace.

In a statement to the company’s staff on Tuesday, Dyson confirmed that the company was working to create an EV that will be launched within three years.

A 400-strong team of in-house engineers and automotive experts has been created as part of a £2 billion investment in the project. Rather than working in collaboration with an established car maker, Dyson appears to be embarking on the whole project independently.

Dyson said the decision to focus on an EV came after years of frustration with the automotive industry “not changing their spots” when it came to addressing pollution.

He said that for more than 20 years it had been his ambition to find a solution to the global air pollution problem after his designs for a diesel particulate filter were ingored by the industry.

He told staff: “I believed that electrically powered cars would solve the vehicle pollution problem. Dyson carried on innovating… At this moment, we finally have the opportunity to bring all our technologies together into a single product. Rather than filtering emissions at the exhaust pipe, today we have the ability to solve it at the source.”

The car – due for launch in 2020 – is expected to be the first in a planned range of Dyson EVs that will use solid state batteries rather than the current industry standard liquid lithium-ion cells. These have potentially greater energy density, meaning greater range for the battery’s size and can be charged far quicker than today’s batteries.

Dyson said that in the face of the fiercely competitive industry he wouldn’t be releasing more details of the vehicle. However, he did confirm to Auto Express that “it’s not a very cheap car” and the Dyson EV wouldn’t be going after the likes of the Nissan Leaf or Renault Zoe. That presents the prospect of Dyson taking on Tesla, whose high-end Model S saloon begins at nearly £64,000.

A Government document last year revealed that Dyson was to receive a £16 million grant to develop battery technology at its facility in Malmsebury, Wiltshire, sparking speculation that the car could be built there but Sir James said no decision has yet been made on where it will be manufactured.

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