Dyson is taking the next logical step for a company known for making innovative vacuum cleaners: electric cars. Thanks to a slip-up by the U.K. government, the company’s secret is out.
On Wednesday, the U.K. government published its “National Infrastructure Delivery Plan 2016-2021,” which included this statement, highlighted by The Guardian: “The government is funding Dyson to develop a new battery electric vehicle at their headquarters in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. This will secure £174m of investment in the area, creating over 500 jobs, mostly in engineering.” The document appears to have been updated since then, with that mention of Dyson removed.
When The Guardian asked Dyson if it was, indeed, developing an electric car, a spokesman said, “We never comment on products that are in development.”
This isn’t the first time Dyson has been associated with electric cars: Last fall, CEO Max Conze said his company wasn’t ruling it out. “Like our friends in Cupertino, we are also unhealthily obsessive when it comes to taking apart our products to make them better,” he said referring to Apple, which is also not-so-secretly developing an electric car.
Dyson also acquired an experimental solid-state battery startup called Sakti3 in October. Solid-state batteries are scalable to an electric car.
According to The Guardian, Dyson recently revealed plans to invest £1 billion, or about $1.4 billion, in battery technology over the next five years.
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