Dyson, the UK-based manufacturer of high-end appliances, is developing an electric vehicle. Founder James Dyson announced the project on Twitter, citing a desire to alleviate deadly pollution – and the automakers’ apathy towards the problem – as the principal motivation.
400-strong staff and hiring aggressively. James Dyson said he’s been thinking about EVs since the 90’s, but the project is still in an early stage – there’s no prototype yet. The company has 400 people working on the design of the car, but work on the electric motor has already been completed. Dyson has been picking up staff from established automakers including BMW and Tesla and will continue to hire “aggressively.”
— Dyson (@Dyson) September 26, 2017
Solid-state batteries. Dyson revealed its EV would be powered by solid-state battery technology, as opposed to the lithium-ion batteries in most EVs and hybrid cars on the road today. The company has two teams working on solid-state batteries, including a Michigan-based startup called Sakti3, which it bought in 2015 for $90 million. Solid-state batteries charge faster, have higher energy density and longer life spans, and they are not flammable like their li-ion counterparts.
Crowded space. Tesla has shaken the auto industry, but the main catalyst for the explosion of electric car development is the increasingly harsh stance of policymakers towards pollution and climate change. With big markets like France and China announcing plans to ban ICE vehicles completely, almost every major carmaker is working on EVs. These include huge efforts from behemoths like Volkswagen and Daimler. Dyson will have to fight hard to differentiate its EVs, but the company does have a track record of using innovative designs to grab share from cheaper rivals.