The company that brought Dyson vacuum cleaners to households and hand dryers to countless washrooms is investing £1 billion (US$1.34 billion) to build an electric car by 2020, and another £1 billion to equip it with solid state batteries, founder James Dyson announced last week.
The company has been investing in battery technology “for several years,” Bloomberg reports. Now, he’s promising something “radically different” from the models already available in an increasingly crowded field.
“There’s no point doing something that looks like everyone else’s,” Dyson said. “It is not a sports car, and not a very cheap car.”
The company founder “hopes the vehicle will be just the first of a line of electric vehicles from Dyson, and predicted that within a few years electric cars would be the largest source of revenue for the company, eclipsing its existing products,” the news agency notes.
Dyson has two competing teams working on solid state battery designs, and 400 of its engineers have been toiling in secret on the EV design for the last 2½ years. “The founder said Dyson was going public with its project now—even though it does not expect to be able to deliver a car to its first customers until 2020 or early 2021—because secrecy around the project was constraining its ability to do deals with auto parts suppliers for the new car, and also hampering recruiting,” Bloomberg states.