Dyson Expands into the Auto Industry with an Electric Car

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【Summary】According to leaked documents, the business is busy working on its upcoming EV in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. Dyson has a team of 400 engineers and more than $2.5 billion committed to this highly anticipated project.

  Michael Cheng  ·  Oct 09, 2017 3:52 PM PT
author: Michael Cheng   

James Dyson, a prolific billionaire entrepreneur responsible for introducing bladeless fans and bag-less vacuum cleaners under the iconic Dyson brand, is gearing up to take on the electric car industry.

The business intends to raise the stakes by entering the EV market with its first-ever electric car. Unfortunately, Dyson's plans were revealed to the public when classified documents were leaked, which confirmed the existence of a nascent project between Dyson and the UK government. 

According to the documents, the business is busy working on its upcoming EV in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. Dyson has a team of 400 engineers and more than $2.5 billion committed to this highly anticipated project.

Focusing on Range and Performance

The establishment is currently at the very early stages of development. So far, we know the business is not interested in partnering with other groups to streamline design and production. Previously, businesses unfamiliar with EVs – but want a piece of the rapidly growing market – are either stuck waiting on the sidelines for the sector to mature with new, low-risk opportunities or are partnering with experienced, well-established automakers.

Instead of taking the normal route to success, Dyson will build out its own hardware from scratch. In doing so, the company hopes to be able to offer extended ranges – between 50 and 100 percent more, compared to existing EVs on the market today. Dyson engineers have decades of experience optimizing electric motor efficiency rates for its product line of household appliances. This knowledge will likely be applied to its EV plans.

"We want to do our own thing; we want to do it our own way," said Max Conze, CEO of Dyson. "But we want to do a Dyson car the way that we think it needs to be done, and that requires us to have the engineering that can do the car end-to-end and also to own the manufacturing."

However, for autonomous driving features, which Dyson intends to include with its upcoming line of EVs, the household tech giant will purchase readily available driverless systems, as needed. This strategy strongly relies on a prediction that businesses will be able to buy self-driving software, when it goes mainstream.

Huge Challenges Ahead

Building an EV from the ground up is no easy task. Dyson has a plethora of roadblocks to overcome in becoming a leading EV brand. In addition to severely lacking the automotive expertise and experience to manufacture cars on a scalable level, the company also needs to implement an aggressive EV charging program, ideally before or around the time its sustainable cars are introduced to consumers.

"Most of the incumbent advantages in the car industry today become a disadvantage very quickly because you're sitting on infrastructure and know-how for the cars of yesterday, not the cars of tomorrow," explained Conze.

Surprisingly, Dyson will not be investing funds in building new infrastructure for its EVs. That's because, like autonomous driving platforms, the business believes there will be plenty of charging stations around cities by the time it is ready to deliver its EVs into the hands of customers.

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