British inventor Sir James Dyson has announced plans to build an electric car that will be “radically different” from current models and go on sale in 2020. He said consumers would have to “wait and see” to find out what it looks like. Dyson didn’t suggest a price, but warned it would be an expensive model: “Maybe the better figure is how much of a deposit they would be prepared to put down.
Dyson announced the news in a letter sent to employees, where he discussed his long-held goal to reduce emissions from trucks and cars. “It has remained my ambition to find a solution to the global problem of air pollution,” wrote Dyson. “At this moment, we finally have the opportunity to bring all our technologies together in a single product. So, 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 it was investing £1bn in the car project and another £1bn in battery technology to support it. Dyson has two competing teams working on “solid state” batteries, which are seen as safer and denser than existing lithium-ion batteries.
The company currently has a team of 400 staff working on the vehicle, but Sir James said the company’s 4,000 staff in the UK could eventually “double” due to the project.