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