After years of pushing bright yellow pricey vacuum cleaners, Dyson says it’s now working on a new set of wheels — and these won’t fit in your hall closet.
Founder James Dyson sent an email to employees this week announcing a plan to clean up the air we breathe — instead of your dirty living room carpet — with a new electric vehicle slated to launch in 2020.
“We’ve started building an exceptional team that combines top Dyson engineers with talented individuals from the automotive industry,” he wrote, adding that the team is already over 400 strong, and that he’s committed to investing investing £2 billion on the endeavor.
As for details like who’s building the cars or whether or not the company is partnering with anyone, Dyson only says that project will “grow quickly” from this point, but that they’re not ready to release any specifics, citing fierce competition for new technology in the automotive industry.
Man on a mission
Preventing pollution from cars has been a longtime desire, Dyson writes in the letter, recounting how the company started work on a cyclonic filter that could be fitted on a vehicle’s exhaust system to trap particulates back in 1990. But after developing several prototypes, the company found to its chagrin that no one at the time was interested in the diesel exhaust capture project, so Dyson shut it down.
“The industry said that ‘disposing’ of collected soot was too much of a problem,” Dyson wrote. “Better to breathe it in?”
Despite that, it’s remained his ambition “to find a solution to the global problem of air pollution.” To that end, a few years ago, he committed the company to build new battery technologies, “with the belief that electrically-powered vehicles would solve the vehicle pollution problem.”
“At this moment, we finally have the opportunity to bring all our technologies together in a single product,” Dyson wrote. “Rather than filtering emissions at the exhaust pipe, today we have the ability to solve it at the source.”