Dyson to Make Radical Electric Cars by 2020

There have long been images of witches riding brooms, but could there be a time in the near future when the modern witch makes the switch from broom to vacuum cleaner? Dyson may be banking on it.

Sir James Dyson
Sir James Dyson [image credit: Eva Rinaldi]
Dyson, the British engineering company best known for its vacuum cleaners and fans, plans to spend £2.5bn developing a “radical” electric car. The battery-powered vehicle is due to be launched in 2020.

Sir James Dyson says 400 staff have been working on the secret project for the past two years at its headquarters in Malmesbury, Wiltshire.

The car does not yet exist, with no prototype built, and a factory site is yet to be chosen.

Sir James declined to give further details of the project. “Competition for new technology in the automotive industry is fierce and we must do everything we can to keep the specifics of our vehicle confidential,” he told staff in an email.

Dyson said:

I’m not a Johnny-come-lately to electric cars. It’s been my ambition since 1998 when I was rejected by the industry that has happily been creating dirty vehicles, and governments have kept on allowing it.We’ll choose the best place to make it and that’s where we’ll make it … Wherever we make the battery, that’s where we will make the car. We see a very large market for this car in the far east … We want to be near where our markets are and I believe the far east has reacted [to electric] more quickly than the UK or Europe.

Important points that are undecided or secret include the firm’s expected annual production total, the cost of the car, or its range or top speed.

Sir James said about £1bn would be spent on developing the car, with another £1bn on making the battery.

We are hoping the new car will be … spellbinding.

Michael Carnell
Editor at Just British

Michael Carnell is the editor and founder of the Just British Online Motoring Magazine. As a lifelong British car fan, he has owned or driven British cars of all ages from Austins and MGs to Jaguars and Triumphs. He currently owns a 1966 Vanden Plas Princess 1100, a 1977 MGB, a 1978 Triumph Spitfire, and a 2002 Land Rover Discovery.


1 Comment

  1. In an interview with The Mail, Dyson was asked about the treasured item he lost and wished he could have again. His reply: “My Austin Healey 100/4, which I had in 1968 when I was a student at the Royal College of Art. It was badly engineered and kept breaking down. Repairing it was my first foray into engineering.”

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