Dyson, the maker of home appliances like vacuum cleaners, fans, and hair dryers has confirmed that they are entering the passenger car market. Their all-electric car will be ready for production by 2020 in the UK.
Given Dyson’s track record for reinventing products, like its dust bag less vacuum cleaner and bladeless fan, expectations are high for something unique with their passenger car. The company has however, not disclosed specific details like performance, range and production numbers or even a broad concept. Like their home appliances though the Dyson car is expected to be pretty high-end and will rival the likes of the Tesla Model S rather than be a mass market car.
Back in 2009, as part of a feature story, our sister publication Autocar UK asked Dyson’s founder Sir James Dyson if he were to build a car what would it be like. Given their experience with hand dryers Dyson quipped that he would use an air blade instead of wipers. Today the company is surely to have a wealth of ideas for its upcoming car. The company has been developing its own battery technology for two decades now and is promising to use its solid state batteries in the upcoming passenger car. It has also been constantly developing lighter, more powerful and efficient motors; experience that will no doubt help the car’s electric motor.
Of course this could all go the Apple way, with the tech major’s passenger car plans fizzling out. But given that Dyson has announced a start of production less than 3 years from now, their plans are likely well past the ideation phase and thus more likely to see the light of day.
The car is already under development at Dyson's Wiltshire headquarters in the UK by a team of 400 people and has been funded by £2 billion (about Rs 17,570 crore) from Dyson. Last year Dyson had also secured a UK government grant to support battery technology research and development.
In the announcement of Dyson's electric car plan, Sir James Dyson took swipes at governments' push for diesels and the Dieselgate emissions scandal: "Governments around the world have encouraged the adoption of oxymoronically designated ‘clean diesel’ engines through subsidies and grants. Major auto manufacturers have circumvented and duped clean air regulations. As a result, developed and developing cities are full of smog-belching cars, lorries and buses. It is a problem that others are ignoring."
He revealed that a major aim is to reduce air pollution from cars "at the source", saying: "I committed the company to develop new battery technologies. I believed that electrically powered vehicles 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.”
Dyson hired former director of purchasing at Aston Martin, David Wyer, to become its head of procurement in August. Wyer was the second Aston Martin executive in as many years to head to Dyson after product development director Ian Minards moved to the same role at Dyson.
Wyer confirmed his exit from Aston Martin on LinkedIn, saying: “So, after 22 years at Aston Martin, today is my last day as I leave one great company to take up an exciting opportunity with another, as head of procurement at Dyson."
Earlier this year Dyson also hired Tesla communications executive Ricardo Reyes, fuelling a resurgence in speculation around the British company's development of an electric car.