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Appliance-maker Dyson to develop EV in-house

Blown away: A cyclonic filter that collects particulates created by diesel exhaust systems started development in March 1990, but Dyson's technology was dismissed by car-makers.

Dyson announces electric vehicle development underway ahead of 2020 debut

27 Sep 2017

By JUSTIN HILLIARD

BEST known for its vacuum cleaners, household appliance-maker Dyson has confirmed it will launch a pure-electric vehicle (EV) by 2020, with company founder James Dyson revealing his plans to employees via email this week.

Dyson already has a team of more than 400 – including top company engineers and automotive industry experts – working on the EV, with Mr Dyson committing an investment of £2 billion ($A3.41 billion) to the project.

Motivated by car-maker's continual use of the pollutant internal-combustion engine, Mr Dyson believes battery-powered vehicles will solve this problem and become the future of transport.

''Governments around the world have encouraged the adoption of oxymoronically-designated ‘clean diesel’ engines through subsidies and grants,'' he said in the email.

''Major auto manufacturers have circumvented and duped clean air regulations. As a result, developed and developing cities are full of smog-belching cars, lorries and buses. It is a problem that others are ignoring.''

In March 1990, Dyson started developing a cyclonic filter that traps particulates produced by a diesel vehicle's exhaust system, but car-makers rejected the technology because working out how to dispose of the collected soot was too problematic. As a result, the project was called off.

According to the World Health Organisation, approximately one in eight deaths in 2012 was a result of air pollution exposure.

''It is our obligation to offer a solution to the world’s largest single environmental risk. I look forward to showing you all what I hope will be something quite unique and better, in due course,'' Mr Dyson added.

Developed over the past several years, new technologies from Dyson's range of hair dryers, fans, heaters and purifiers are ready to be combined into a single product, the EV.

Exact details on the EV's powertrain, body style, pricing and production targets are yet to become public knowledge, with Mr Dyson saying the British company is keen to keep its exact plans under wraps due to the automotive industry's competitive nature.

The majority of the EV's components will be manufactured by Dyson in-house, but parts like tyres will be sourced from external suppliers.

In 2015, the brand purchased solid-state battery manufacturer Sakti3, with the aim of accelerating the technology over the coming years.

Dyson's EV plans have been heavily rumoured since the brand made two key hires from Aston Martin, former directors David Wyer (purchasing) and Ian Minards (product development), in the past year.

Curiously, former Tesla vice-president of global communications Ricardo Reyes is currently Dyson's global communications officer, further adding fuel to the speculative fire at the time.

Having just started production of its third model, the Model 3, Tesla will serve as a case study for Dyson on how to tackle the fledging EV market.

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