Rumours about a Dyson electric car appeared to be a load of hot air, but now the company has confirmed its plan to follow in Tesla’s footsteps is very real.
Dyson founder and British entrepreneur, James Dyson, told company employees that it already has 400 people already working on the project, with the intent of “aggressively recruiting” more.
The reason for building an electric car, besides making money, is that Mr Dyson admitted he was spurred on by the “oxymoronically designated clean diesels” and a lack of progress into cleaner vehicles.
“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 said in the message, which has since been released publically.
Though the shift into electric cars is a recent one, Dyson has been using its expertise of air filtration and other technologies to combat diesel emissions since 1990, when a team began working on a cyclonic filter for automotive exhaust systems.
But even after demonstrating a working system that trapped dangerous particulates on the popular BBC children’s show, Blue Peter, Mr Dyson said car manufacturers expressed zero interest. This is despite a report in 1988 that linked diesel engines to premature deaths in laboratory mice and rats.
He continued: “It has remained my ambition to find a solution to the global problem of air pollution. Some years ago, observing that automotive firms weren’t changing their spots, I committed the company to develop new battery technologies.
“At this moment, we finally have the opportunity to bring all our technologies together into a single product. Rather than filtering emissions by the exhaust pipe, today we have the ability to solve it at the source.”
Mr Dyson goes on to mention that he is, “investing £2billion on this endeavour,” and that its electric car will be launched in 2020, but says he “will not release any information” for the time being. So we can only speculate whether it will feature a large spherical wheel at the front.
Taking on car companies, which are now being forced into electric cars, and the likes of Tesla will be no easy feat – especially as Tesla made its associated patents freely available to all. This, explains Mr Dyson, is why keeping details confidential will be key to blowing its rivals out of the water.
Not only that, there was once an ill-fated car called the Sinclair C5. Have a guess who manufactured the washing machine motor that powered it? A certain vacuum cleaner maker called Hoover.
We can only imagine Mr Dyson hopes history will be kinder to him. Because nobody wants to create a product that ends up gathering dust. Unless you can charge £400 for it.