Dyson to produce electric cars by 2020
British inventor Sir James Dyson has announced plans to build an electric car that will be “radically different” from current models and go on sale in 2020. According to Dyson, 400 engineers in Wiltshire had been working on the £2.5bn project since 2015.
No prototype has yet been built but the car’s electric motor is said to be ready. Two different battery types are being developed that Dyson claims are already more efficient than existing technologies. However, details such as the firm's expected annual production total, the cost of the car, its range and top speed are being kept secret at this stage.
The design is said to be “all about the technology” and, while the price has not yet been announced, Dyson warned that it will be an expensive vehicle to purchase.
Research and development work on the car will continue at a facility being built at Hullavington, close to Dyson’s headquarters in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. It is most likely to be a rival to the upmarket vehicles produced by Tesla, but it will not be a sports car.
Dyson has invested in robotics and AI research for its existing products, but its vehicle is not likely to have any greater degree of autonomy than other new cars. The inventor sounded a sceptical note over driverless cars: “I think that total hands-off driving is some way off.”
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