Dyson, a vacuum company, wants to make electric cars

David Matthews

TS Maniac
Staff member

Well known for its vacuum cleaners and bladeless fans, UK-based Dyson is working on a battery-powered electric car set to be unveiled in 2020.

Founder and CEO James Dyson recently spoke with The Guardian and revealed a few details regarding Dyson's newest ambition. For one, the company has dedicated a team of "over 400 strong" including a few executives from Aston Martin and Tesla to bring the automobile to life. It also plans to invest more than $2.6 billion into the project.

Dyson's electric car won't be a sports car. However, like the BMW i8 and Tesla Model S, it will come with a high price tag with Dyson wryly commenting, "Maybe the better figure is how much of a deposit they would be prepared to put down."

In a letter sent to employees, Dyson bemoaned the failure of governments and automakers to take clean air seriously.

"Governments around the world have encouraged the adoption of oxymoronically designated 'clean diesel' engines through subsidies and grants. 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."

The company is looking to use this electric car endeavor as a way to draw upon and combine its expertise in batteries, digital motors and energy storage systems. Dyson also sees this as an opportunity to expand further into the ripe Asian market. "We see a very large market for this car in the Far East," said Dyson.

The larger question, of course, is if Dyson will be able to break into an established market.

One could argue that the rising success of Tesla has opened the floodgates for new players to enter the industry. Trying to do so with a gasoline-powered car is nearly impossible but electric vehicles are a totally different niche that even established companies such as Nissan and Chevrolet are still trying to figure out.

Image courtesy Richard Saker, the Observer

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
Not advisable ...... when you consider his price point for his products, must people cannot or will not spend that kind of money. One of his electric cars could cost over $100,000
 

Capaill

TS Evangelist
Dyson hoovers/vacuums are expensive because the product reviews are excellent. The problem is that most of those reviews are for the first releases of the products, over 10 years ago, many of which are still going strong. More recent releases have much lower quality with many products breaking within just a few years. I'd never buy a Dyson hoover again. And I would certainly wait before buying a Dyson car.
Then again, if he could combine a hoover with the car, we would have very clean streets!
 

MilwaukeeMike

TS Evangelist
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
Awesome quote for picking apart - 1) Yes they have circumvented the clean air regulations. The regulations were meant to be circumvented. The regulations said that car companies could have higher emission vehicles like trucks get 18MPG if they had hybrids get like 50 MPG. They just had to average out to about 30 and it was all good. Nevermind that people bought a ton of trucks and like 5 hybrids. hence - circumvented regulations. The Senators got to tell people they were saving the planet though, and the car companies got to sell trucks - actual results aren't important in govt.

2) Cars don't belch out smog. Smog is smoke and fog mixed together. Cars don't have fog - just smoke.

3) People aren't ignoring the problem. Lots of car companies are coming out with an electric vehicle. The Chevy Bolt and Tesla 3 are both due out soon. The govt might not be too keen on losing any more gas tax, but to say car companies are not ignoring this. Climate change is only half of it - with better tech, electric cars will be better at many things than gas cars.
 

IAMTHESTIG

TS Evangelist
I agree MilwaukeeMike, they certainly aren't ignoring electric cars... I think one thing many people forget is electric cars simply aren't ready for prime time yet. Yes many manufactures (but certainly not all) are working on making electric cars, but until they see a solid enough option to sell the things like hot cakes they are going to take it slow. Can't really blame them, they are in it for money, not for saving the environment. I wouldn't necessarily say that makes them evil though. Battery tech just isn't good enough for everyone, long charge times, limited capacities, and questionable longevity are all concerns that plague modern batteries. Until there is a sizable improvement I don't see electric cars taking off.

Now don't take the out of context and assume that I am a green car hater. I really want to like electric cars, there are a lot of benefits; never going to a petrol station to fill up and fork over cash, less mechanical moving parts and in theory increased reliability, instant power when you want it, not having to be "nice" to a cold engine (e.g. waiting for oil to warm up before romping on it), and of course not producing CO2 to get around. These are all wonderful things but as I said above the problems don't outweigh the benefits for all people.

Not only all that, but I still am of the opinion that making these massive battery packs is damaging the the environment as well. Material has to be mined, transported, and refined in factories all of which results in CO2 production by necessary equipment. I'm not convinced that electric cars are "green" by any means.I know there has been increased efficiency in the process resulting in less pollution to produce batteries, but it is still a relatively new process where as we have been making petrol for over a hundred years.

Regardless of my opinion I'm glad to see efforts are going toward making green tech, and that is really all we can ask for. As long as someone or company is blatantly giving the middle finger to the Earth and trying to make pollution,then all is well. But I really think some people need to stop getting so high and mighty with this green movement as its not always as good they think it is.
 
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Skidmarksdeluxe

TS Evangelist
Well judging from the "not cheap" part, it looks like they're not trying to clean up this time around, just clean out (your bank balance).
 

treetops

TS Evangelist
Not advisable ...... when you consider his price point for his products, must people cannot or will not spend that kind of money. One of his electric cars could cost over $100,000
And it could cost 1$ and it could cost a billion dollars. But it won't....
 

MoeJoe

Banned
Not advisable ...... when you consider his price point for his products, must people cannot or will not spend that kind of money. One of his electric cars could cost over $100,000
And it could cost 1$ and it could cost a billion dollars. But it won't....
You obviously don't understand how deep and wide Dyson has penetrated the market place.
Besides the obvious vacuums, fans and hair dryers ... have you traveled lately or in the past several years?

Dyson high velocity hand drying blowers are in the men's bathroom of airports world wide.
In the USA alone the installed based is impressive and in Europe it's ubiquitous.
 
J

Jibberish18

I mentioned this to my wife a few years back. It made sense. They do amazing stuff with their electric motors for their vacuums, fans and now hair dryers. It was only a matter of time. And they're nothing if not an engineering company. I'd imagine They and Tesla could make magic together but I get the feeling ole Elon doesn't like to place nice with others.
 

Underdog

TS Addict
Dyson hoovers/vacuums are expensive because the product reviews are excellent. The problem is that most of those reviews are for the first releases of the products, over 10 years ago, many of which are still going strong. More recent releases have much lower quality with many products breaking within just a few years. I'd never buy a Dyson hoover again. And I would certainly wait before buying a Dyson car.
Then again, if he could combine a hoover with the car, we would have very clean streets!
I'm pretty sure that would really suck. I'm sticking with my I.C. engines.