The UK-based firm Dyson is aiming for the launch of an electric vehicle by 2020, the company’s head James Dyson revealed in a recent interview with Reuters.
The billionaire inventor stated that he was putting roughly £2 billion into the venture, and that the plans still involved solid-state battery tech.
Before going any further, and owing to the fact that many people seem to be slanted towards assuming that this is all a scam of some kind, I’ll note here that I consider Dyson’s comments to be noteworthy because of the sums of money involved, and because of the support coming from the UK government.
Maybe Dyson’s claims, especially those concerning the company’s solid-state battery tech, are exaggerated somewhat, but until that’s known for sure to be the case I maintain that the company’s plans are newsworthy. So, onwards.
“We are not a johnny-come-lately onto the scene of electric cars,” Dyson commented. “It has been my ambition since 1998 when I was rejected by the industry, which has happily gone on making polluting diesel engines, and governments have gone on allowing it.”
Reuters provides more: “Dyson said a 400-strong team of engineers had already spent 2-1/2 years working on the hitherto secret car project in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. However, the car itself still has to be designed and the choice of battery to be finalised.
“The company was backing solid-state rather than the lithium ion technology used in existing electric vehicles because it was safer, the batteries would not overheat, were quicker to charge and potentially more powerful, he said.
“… His company has been hiring executives from Aston Martin and last year the government said in a report it was helping to fund development work on an electric vehicle at the firm, although the entry was quickly changed. Dyson said he was coming clean now because it was becoming harder to talk to subcontractors, government and potential new employees.
“… Dyson, who was a prominent backer of the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, has been able to fund the project through the profits of his holding company. The Weybourne Group reported a 55% rise in pretax profit to £473 million in 2016 on revenue of £2.53 billion, according to accounts filed earlier this month.”
All of that said, the car project apparently doesn’t yet have “a design nor a chassis.” And no decisions have been made about where it will be manufactured — other then that it will likely be manufactured wherever the battery is, apparently.
Dyson did note, though, that he thought that there was likely a very large market for the offering in “the Far East.” Presumably, that means that Dyson is aiming to enter the potentially very lucrative Chinese EV market.