Dyson commits £2 billion to developing electric cars
27 September 2017
Sir James Dyson has announced a £2 billion investment into the development of an electric vehicle that is set to be launched in 2020.
Half of that investment will go directly towards the vehicle's creation while the remaining £1 billion will fund battery technology that could be adapted for a variety of uses.
The announcement was sent out to Dyson employees on Tuesday.
"I wanted you to hear it directly from me: Dyson has begun work on a battery electric vehicle, due to be launched by 2020," Sir James said.
"We've started building an exceptional team that combines top Dyson engineers with talented individuals from the automotive industry. The team is already over 400 strong and we are recruiting aggressively.
"I'm committed to investing £2 billion on this endeavour."
He said the project would "grow quickly" but did not release any further information, saying competition for new tech in the auto industry was "fierce".
"We must do everything we can to keep the specifics of our vehicle confidential."
The technology tycoon said the idea had been brewing for decades amid concerns about global air pollution and vehicle emissions.
Sir James pointed to prototypes the company developed back in 1993 that would be fitted to the vehicle’s exhaust system to trap harmful particulates from exhaust.
Dyson scrapped the project as “nobody at the time was interested”.
He said that while government have adopted so-called clean diesel engines, major auto manufacturers had since “duped” clean air regulations, leaving cities full of “smog-belching cars, lorries and buses”.
Sir James added: “Some years ago, observing that automotive firms were not changing their spots, I committed the company to develop new battery technologies.
“I believed that electrically-powered vehicles would solve the vehicle pollution problem. Dyson carried on innovating.
“At this moment, we finally have the opportunity to bring all our technologies together into a single product.
“Rather than filtering emissions at the exhaust pipe, today we have the ability to solve it at the source.”