Sir James Dyson, best known for his eponymous bagless vacuum cleaner company, has announced plans over Twitter to build an electric car by 2020.
In his emotionally-charged statement, Dyson stressed a decades-long flirtation with the automotive industry. The fundamental basis of Dyson’s bagless vacuums, the cyclonic filter, was adapted in the early 1990s to capture soot from diesel exhaust. However, he said it was met with skepticism by the industry.
“It has remained my ambition to find a solution to the global problem of air pollution,” he said. “Some years ago […] I committed the company to develop new battery technologies. I believed that electrically powered vehicles would solve the vehicle pollution problem.
Dyson said he expects to spend upwards of $2.7 billion to leverage the company’s existing expertise in batteries and electric motors. He then revealed that he has assembled a team of 400 engineers since early 2015, charged with working out how to transfer the tech from vacuums to cars.
While seemingly fundamental things like the car’s shape, and even the specific type of battery are still shrouded in secrecy, lithium batteries — the standard power supply of choice for the vast majority of electric cars today — have been rejected. Resistance to overheating, charge time, and ultimately safety led Dyson in the direction of solid state batteries.
If all works out, it might soon be time to check the fine print of your 20% off Bed Bath & Beyond coupon to see if cars are excluded.