Dyson expands plans for electric cars

Written by: Tom Austin-Morgan | Published:

Back in September, James Dyson announced that his company had been working on an electric vehicle (EV) design since 2015 and that it would be “radically different” from current models. Despite no prototype being built at the time, he claimed the car would go on sale by 2020. Now, however, the inventor is looking to build more two more models.

Dyson has said that a total of three EVs will be available from the company in the next decade and that they will also adopt a solid-state battery pack, rather than use the traditional lithium-ion batteries. The estimated $2.8 billion project is planned to give a Tesla-like jolt to the automotive market. Like Elon Musk’s Tesla, the first Dyson car due early next decade would be a high-end model – but not a sports car – and be sold in relatively small numbers.

The two following models are claimed to have more mass-market appeal. Dyson is said to be investing in both lightweight materials and solid-state battery technology for cars.

However, the solid-state battery pack may not be ready for the launch date and Dyson is said to be prepared to use lithium-ion batteries in this first model in order to get the car to launch in 2020. This could be due to the fact that the ft reported back in December that Ann Marie Sastry, head of the company’s solid-state battery division and founder of battery startup Sakti3 – which Dyson bought for $90 million two years ago, left the company late last year.

Dyson has also said he is not planning to seek help from other manufacturers to bring the car to production, his car will be Dyson-badged, unlike Google’s Waymo project and Apple’s autonomous car efforts, which are focusing on components for other cars.

"Governments around the world have encouraged the adoption of oxymoronically designated ‘clean diesel’ engines through subsidies and grants," Dyson said. "The World Health Organisation reports 'in 2012 around 7 million people died – one in eight of total global deaths – as a result of air pollution exposure'. It is our obligation to offer a solution to the world’s largest single environmental risk. I look forward to showing you all what I hope will be something quite unique and better, in due course."

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