This week, technology tycoon Sir James Dyson has confirmed his latest plans to broaden Dyson's portfolio of expertise by entering into the electric vehicle market. It may not come as a surprise that Dyson are throwing their hat into the ring alongside the likes of Tesla, Nissan and Toyota. An increasing number of car manufacturers are beginning to follow suit and over the next couple of years we expect to see the number of electric vehicles on the market rise substantially. This could lead to a saturated market overall but will this be the first successful car of its kind that is produced and designed by a company other than a known car manufacturer?
The company, known for their vacuum cleaners, fans and most recently, the Dyson hairdryer is reported to be making a 'radically different' electric car that departs from the traditional make-up. Dyson plans for their own take on an electric vehicle to be available in as little as three years' time, which may be achievable considering that design began two and a half years ago and over 400 engineers having been dedicated to the project.
Diesel cars are the biggest single source of nitrogen oxide emissions and following the government announcement of its intention to ban sales of both petrol and diesel cars by 2040, Dyson is another example of a company responding to these major changes. A spike in the demand for electricity from these electric vehicles however, will need to be managed accordingly to avoid any greater strain on the National Grid. Attempts have already been suggested for car batteries to return unused electricity to the Grid for use at these peak times and this may be the way forward. The question now is whether Dyson can now bring its already proven wealth of innovation and expertise from its success in its batteries and powerful electric motors into a project on as large a scale as electric vehicles. In comparison to Tesla, a listed company who had the option of raising capital through investors, privately owned Dyson has reportedly invested £2bn into the project, making it a risky new venture for James Dyson. Therefore, this may be a true test for the company.
"In the period since, governments around the world have encouraged the adoption of oxymoronically designated ‘clean diesel’ engines through subsidies and grants," Dyson writes. "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. Throughout, it has remained my ambition to find a solution to the global problem of air pollution."