When British inventor Sir James Dyson’s eponymous company acquired Michigan solid-state battery pioneer Sakti3 in 2015, we suspected it wasn’t about better batteries for handheld vacuum cleaners.
Now Dyson has announced that it has had 400 engineers working since 2015 on an EV that will be “radically different” from current models and go on sale in 2020.
Dyson told the Guardian that his company has committed some $2.7 billion to its EV program. It hasn’t built a prototype, but has developed an electric motor, and is working on two different battery types. “We don’t have an existing chassis…We’re starting from scratch. What we’re doing is quite radical.”
Dyson said that the new EV would be an expensive vehicle, but that it “would not be a sports car.”
Dyson has a history of interest in EVs. “I’m not a Johnny-come-lately to electric cars,” he said. “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.”
He has also long been concerned about particulate pollution from diesels. The Dyson EV will feature the company’s air purifying technology. “It’s not the owner of the VW that has the problem, it’s the person driving behind them.”
As seems to be de rigueur these days, Dyson has hired several former Tesla and Aston Martin executives, including former Tesla communications chief Ricardo Reyes, and Aston Martin alums David Wyer and Ian Minards.