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Is Dyson Working on an Electric Car?

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Dyson motor

Photo: 陳 好酸

The newest electric car maker to join the market may be the same company that keeps your carpet clean, according to reports coming out of the UK. There, government documents recently revealed (apparently by accident) that Dyson, manufacturer of the bagless vacuum in your closet, was receiving money from the UK government to develop an electric car.

The government documents read, “The government is funding Dyson to develop a new battery electric vehicle at their headquarters in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. This will secure £174m of investment in the area, creating over 500 jobs, mostly in engineering.” This comes on the heels of Dyson announcing that, following a sales boom in China, it would invest £1 billion in battery technology, and about a year after Dyson purchased Satki3, a company that produces solid-state batteries (most batteries these days are filled with a flammable liquid electrode).

2015 Nissan LEAF battery pack

2015 Nissan LEAF battery pack bn

On top of that, you have Dyson CEO Max Conze’s comments from last year, where he responded rather cagily to questions whether the electronics manufacturer would work on an electric car. He said, “We are ruling nothing out. Like out friends in Cupertino we are also unhealthily obsessive when it comes to taking apart out products to make them better.” The “friends from Cupertino” that Conze was talking about was Apple company, which has widely been rumored for some time to be working on its own car.

Finally, when Dyson was asked about the government documents, a spokesman only responded evasively, saying, “We never comment on products that are in development.”

That immediately makes me think, “So there is something in development, then.” It would take a fair amount of time for Dyson to develop its own electric car, but if it does so and if all of the claims that Sakti3 makes about its batteries are true, it seems likely that it would have a light, efficient motor (which Dyson is known for) powered by a solid-state battery, making it lighter, safer, and more energy-dense, while giving the company a distinctive trait to break into the car market.

All in all, we will have to wait for it to appear before we can tell whether the Dyson will suck.


I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself

News Sources: The GuardianGreen Car Reports