The company best known for its bagless vacuum cleaners, Dyson, has announced it will start to prepare its first car, joining the wave of companies developing electric vehicles.
Dyson’s point of difference of course is that the company is not an automaker, or even a high tech giant such as Uber or Apple foraying into future mobility.
Owner James Dyson made his billions making vacuums, and other electrical goods such as hair and hand dryers.
But that little detail is not going to stop the company taking on the likes of Elon Musk’s EV company Tesla, and many others.
In fact the Sheffield-based company is so serious about its venture into the growing market of electric cars that it has released plans for an EV development facility, replete with 16km of test tracks, at the disused Hullavington aerodrome.
This sort of thing doesn’t come cheap.
According to GQ Magazine, James Dyson has pledged £2.5 billion to its electric car project, which he first announced in September 2017.
— Dyson (@Dyson) September 26, 2017
So far, the vacuum company has invested around £84 million on the project, and plans to bring that amount up to £200 million to redevelop the 45,000 m² aerodrome site, which will be built to accommodate more than 2,000 employees.
An interesting note on the direction that Dyson wishes to take is that it does not intend to make use of lithium-ion commonly used by most automakers in electric cars.
Instead, the vacuum company says it will install in its EVs with solid state batteries with a view to getting its first model on the road by the early 2020s.
However, the UK government still has to give the green light to the aerodrome development project.
The bet is risky, especially considering most new electric car manufacturers (Tesla for example) have suffered many delays and hiccups in their efforts to keep stated deadlines.
If, and when, they do succeed, they’ll be joining the ranks of makers of other objects – such as Russian gunmaker Kalashnikov – who have also announced they will dip their toe into the burgeoning EV market.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.