Dyson is investing billions in building a ‘radically different’ electric car

dyson building electric car
missnotafraid/123RF
Dyson has announced it’s developing an electric vehicle that it promises will be “radically different” to current designs.

While a fancy new road sweeper might have seemed like the obvious choice for a company that makes most of its money from vacuum cleaners, Dyson is instead opting for a more marketable car design with plans for a 2020 launch.

Company founder Sir James Dyson revealed this week he’s investing around $2.7 billion in the project, adding that a 400-strong engineering team has been working on the electric car for the last two years at its U.K. headquarters in Wiltshire.

However, speaking to the press at an event in London, he declined to offer details about its design, preferring to keep as much information as possible from rival makers, including the likes of Tesla, as well as long-established automakers such as Volkswagen, Nissan, Ford, and Fiat.

Solid-state battery

Dyson confirmed that his team has not yet built a prototype, but said the motor is ready. He also revealed that he’s close to choosing the car’s all-important battery from among two designs, both of which Dyson claimed are more efficient than those used by other electric cars on the market today.

The options are both solid-state batteries that are capable of improving an electric car’s range and performance compared to current lithium-ion alternatives. They’re also smaller and easier to charge.

In 2015, Dyson spent $90 million on the acquisition of Sakti3, a Michigan-based company that specializes in advanced solid-state batteries. Toyota is also developing the technology and wants to use it in a “long-range” electric car that it claims will be able to charge in a matter of minutes. The Japanese auto giant is aiming to launch its car in 2022, which would be two years after Dyson’s planned launch.

“Radically different”

Dyson promised his electric car would be “radically different” from anything that’s gone before in the electric-car market. But considering the amount of interest in the same sector from established automakers, the project brings with it a serious amount of risk.

Its chances of success depend to a large extent on whether Dyson can really deliver something truly groundbreaking — and affordable — to take on its experienced rivals and capture the imagination of potential customers. And with the technology likely to develop rapidly in the next two years, the company will need to be at the forefront of those advances if its car is to have any hope of emulating the triumphs of its current range of products.

Cars

Automakers are spending billions on self-driving technology people are afraid of

Automakers are spending billions of dollars on developing the technology that will power self-driving cars, but research shows consumers have no interest in giving up control. Will they ever recoup their investment?
Smart Home

Dyson’s newest products strive to keep your home cool, clean, and well-lit

Dyson launched products to keep your home cool, clean, and well-lit. A Dyson intelligent task light cycles with nature and a personal air purifier harnesses unique airflow. Microprocessors in Dyson's vacuum self-adjust 8,000 times a second.
Cars

Fiat wants to transform the cheeky 500 city car into an urban Tesla

Fiat is finally preparing a new 500. Scheduled to make its debut in early 2020, the retro-chic city car will go electric in part to comply with looming emissions regulations.
Cars

Fisker plans sub-$40,000 electric SUV with 300 miles of range for 2021

Fisker Inc. plans to launch an electric SUV with a base price of under $40,000, and a range of around 300 miles in 2021. The unnamed vehicle could compete with the Tesla Model Y, if it ever gets into production.
Cars

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe gets a tech upgrade, keeps quirky styling

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe debuts at the 2019 New York Auto Show with an upgraded infotainment system that incorporates Mercedes' digital assistant. The SUV launches later this year with turbocharged four-cylinder power.
Cars

This modified Land Rover Discovery is heading to Africa to help fight malaria

A Land Rover Discovery will be used by the Mobile Malaria Project for a 3,900-mile trek across Africa to study malaria. The SUV is equipped with a mobile gene-sequencing laboratory, as well as everything necessary for serious off-roading.
Product Review

The Ferrari Portofino is the super stallion you’ll want to drive every day

With the introduction of the Portofino, Ferrari addresses the California T’s stylistic shortcomings while improving comfort, convenience, and performance. There’s little “entry-level” about this super stallion.
Cars

Volvo wants to use speed limiters, in-car cameras, and data to reduce crashes

Volvo believes new tech is the best way to improve car safety. The Swedish automaker will let owners set speed limits when loaning out their cars, install cameras to monitor drivers, and use data to design better safety features.
Cars

BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe teased way ahead of its November debut

The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe is coming to the United States, eventually. The new compact BMW won't be unveiled until the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show in November. The Gran Coupe will be based on a front-wheel drive platform.
Cars

Tesla lets you skip the dealership, order a car from the comfort of your couch

Tesla has always bypassed traditional dealerships, and it has now adopted an online-only sales model that lets customers configure and order their car without leaving their couch. Here's what you need to know.
Cars

Autonomous shuttle rides coming to New York City via Optimus Ride

Workers at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in NY City will soon be able to make their way around the 300-acre industrial park in Optimus Ride's self-driving shuttles. The tech startup says it's the first trial of its kind in the state.
Cars

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi group uses Microsoft cloud platform for connected cars

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is launching a new cloud platform for its cars. Based on Microsoft Azure, the Alliance Intelligent Cloud will enable features like connected services and over-the-air updates.
Cars

The 2019 Toyota C-HR gains a popular tech feature as its price comes down

Toyota has updated the C-HR, its entry-level crossover, by adding an entry-level trim level to the lineup. Every model regardless of price also comes standard with an 8.0-inch touchscreen compatible with Apple CarPlay.
Product Review

2019 Volkswagen Jetta offers German refinement and tech at an affordable price

With enough tech to make villains jealous, the Volkswagen Jetta punches above its class as a forward-thinking sedan. Spacious, comfortable, and efficient, the Jetta is a refined offering. German refinement comes with a serious attitude.