Auto Service World
News   September 27, 2017   by The Associated Press

Vacuum maker Dyson is building an electric car

James Dyson

Dyson Ltd., the British company best known for its vacuum cleaners, is working on an electric car that it says will be launched by 2020.

In a recent email to staff Dyson founder and chief engineer James Dyson said he has a team of 400 engineers and others working on the car.

Dyson recently hired a new chief spokesman, Ricardo Reyes, who used to lead communications at Tesla Inc. It acquired a Michigan-based battery technology company, Sakti3, in 2015.

James Dyson says he’s committed to investing US$2.4 billion in the project.

Dyson has been working on vehicle technology on and off since 1990 when its engineers designed a filter that could trap diesel pollutants.

“I’m not a Johnny-come-lately to electric cars,” James Dyson said. “It’s been my ambition since 1998 when I was rejected by the industry that has happily been creating dirty vehicles, and governments have kept on allowing it.”

He would not offer details about what the vehicle will look like or what features it will have, citing fierce competition in the auto industry. He simply said that consumers will have to “wait and see,” adding that, “We don’t have an existing chassis … We’re starting from scratch. What we’re doing is quite radical.”

James Dyson did say, however, that the car would be expensive. While he didn’t give hints to price, he did say that “Maybe the better figure is how much of a deposit they would be prepared to put down.”

He also added that manufacturing of the vehicles will take place in the far east as electric vehicles have been more widely accepted there than in, say, the United Kingdom.

“We’ll choose the best place to make it and that’s where we’ll make it … Wherever we make the battery, that’s where we will make the car,” the inventor said. “We see a very large market for this car in the far east … We want to be near where our markets are and I believe the far east has reacted [to electric] more quickly than the UK or Europe.”

— With files from ASW staff

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3 Comments » for Vacuum maker Dyson is building an electric car
  1. Bob Ward says:

    It will probably come with a typical Dyson price tag as well. Will this mean our streets will be cleaner when they come out?

  2. George S says:

    I suppose we’re going to have to take this electric car concept a little more seriously, but the stuff I’ve read sure doesn’t convince me that EV is going to dominate the roadways any time soon. If they’re going to be running down the freeways there’s going to have to be a way to charge them up super fast, or exchange batteries quickly to compete with the current fuel stops. Or they’re going to have to run (a lot) further on a charge. I have an acquaintance who was in charge of setting up grids in Southern California and he told me that the grids will have to go through a massive changeover to handle EVs. The current grids fall far short of what will be expected. Further to that the electricity has to come from somewhere and the most efficient method is still from steam turbines, which are fired from either natural gas or coal. Wind generators are inconsistent and usually require a complete overhaul before they get anywhere near the break-even point. And that’s when you get past the ‘meadow muffins’ and ‘snowflakes’ complaining about them killing birds. To that, there are a lot of birds that are killed by those massive blades. I read another article about a road test in which an EV was tested. The article said that the EV ended up costing (7) times as much as a comparable gas burner. He took into consideration the cost of the car itself (better than triple) and other expenses plus the downtime waiting for the batteries to charge. He didn’t mention the cost of replacing the batteries. EV may be here to stay but I think it’s about as close to being the car for every man as the gas turbine was in the early 60s. Just saying….

  3. Bob Ward says:

    Electric vehicles work very well in certain areas where the temperature is warmer. Short commuter trips are ideal for these vehicles. I believe the challenge is competition for charging stations which still are too far and in between. The fact their range is dramatically shorter in cold climates presents challenges to say the least. Corrosion in “salt belt” areas also is another challenge for manufacturers. With advances in fuel economy in fossil fuel vehicles, their popularity is still on top. Fuel prices are high but so are electricity costs. I feel as the technology improves in electric vehicles their popularity will increase.

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