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Dyson’s first electric car teased to staff, launch date postponed

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In a letter to its employees, Dyson has disclosed the first details of its in-development electric car, due for release in 2021.

Dyson first announced in 2017 that it would invest £2bn in developing electric vehicle technology, with an anticipated release date of its first vehicle in 2020.

The car will be “entirely designed, manufactured and sold” by the company and founder Sir James Dyson said it will contain “fundamentally new technologies and make some inventive leaps”.

A number of patents for new cars have been issued, although the drawings “don’t reveal what the vehicle will really look like or what it will do”, Sir James said, as he called on staff to keep key details secret.

In October 2018, it emerged that Dyson’s first vehicle factory would be located in Singapore, rather than the UK, due to improved access to supply chains and markets. 

The first patents, which were filed 18 months ago but have now been made public for the first time, reveal designs for an off-road vehicle in Dyson’s planned line-up, although details of its first car still remain closely guarded.

Patents for the off-road prototype highlight an intention to use “very large wheels” to suit bumpy terrain as well as to improve “range and efficiency”.

Sir James also highlighted new architecture and aerodynamic improvements, which include a low cabin height and shallow windscreen angle to reduce drag.

The UK Government announced in 2017 that it planned to phase out the sale of new petrol or diesel vehicles which do not use hybrid technology by 2040, although Sir James has called for this deadline to be brought forward. 

Dyson has set aside around £2.5bn to invest in the project, as it leaps into the highly competitive electric car market alongside the likes of Elon Musk’s Tesla.

Testing for the Dyson electric vehicles is expected to take place at its campus at Hullavington Airfield in Wiltshire, where the firm is investing £200m in new facilities.

The Brexit-supporting entrepreneur faced fierce criticism earlier this year after he revealed his intention to relocate the Dyson head office from Wiltshire to east Asia.

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