Yes, you read that right. The company that made a name for itself with funky-looking, long-lasting vacuum cleaners and other home appliances is getting into the car business. In an email to employees, the man in charge, James Dyson, confirmed that the company is working on an electric car, which had been rumored since the company’s mention by British infrastructure grant documents.
It will be coming soon, too. According to Dyson, the car will launch in 2020. That gives the company just a little over two years to have the production car ready to go. Currently, there are 400 people working on the project, and Dyson says they’re actively recruiting for the team. Dyson also announced that the company will be investing £2 billion, or nearly $2.7 billion at current exchange rates, to bring the car to reality.
Now it may seem strange that a company synonymous with home appliances is looking to get into the car industry, but it isn’t as big a leap as you might think. Dyson highlighted the company’s experience with both batteries and electric motors for products such as the company’s hair dryer and cordless vacuum cleaners. And batteries and electric motors are the core components of an electric car, and are principally very similar to those in handheld devices. The company also appears to be making progress on the development of solid-state batteries, something that Toyota is developing, too. Dyson also noted his interest in improving the environment since he developed a particulate filter for diesel exhaust in the early 1990s.
One of the other things that will be very interesting to see is what this future Dyson car looks like. In particular, will the designers follow traditional car design ideas and rules, or will they adapt the design cues of Dyson’s other stylish products? Certainly an industrial, functional-looking vehicle with silver and brightly colored highlights like the vacuums would be distinct.