Don't Worry, Dyson's Got This Electric Car Thing in the Bag
The maker of all things that blow is apparently sucking up some government cash to build an electric car.
Britain’s The Guardian is reporting that Dyson is receiving a public subsidy from the British government to develop an EV, a project that will no doubt draw from the company’s depth of knowledge regarding small electric motors.
The government is funding Dyson to develop a new battery electric vehicle at their headquarters in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. This will secure £174m of investment in the area, creating over 500 jobs, mostly in engineering
The document doesn’t say exactly how much cash is being handed to the maker of creepy, bladeless fans and bagless vacuum cleaners that make domestic life bliss, but Dyson CEO Max Conze didn’t rule out the possibility of creating an EV when asked last year.
Automakers have been on a buying tear lately, snapping up high-tech startups and signalling their EV intentions to anyone who’ll listen, meaning a non-automotive company like Dyson can fly under the radar with its plans.
The company, which sounds like a great addition to one’s investment portfolio (revenue is positively booming), has its own cash reserves to fling around on development. It bought a U.S. battery maker last year for $90 million, and has stated its intention to invest one billion pounds ($1.41 billion) in battery technology, and another 1.5 billion pounds into research and development.
The UK’s intentions to spur a futuristic car’s development via public cash might cause those who remember the DeLorean Motor Company to raise an eyebrow, but Dyson’s recent acquisitions and financial strength make this investment seem far less risky than the chance it took on the gull-winged wonder.
It’s nice to learn that the home of Roger Moore and Sting isn’t letting Germany have all the fun when it comes to EV development. Who knows, Dyson could become Britain’s Tesla (another company that’s no stranger to public subsidies).
Only this Tesla also builds a hand-drying fan that makes trips to restaurant bathrooms a pure joy.
[Image: Robert Scarth/Flickr ( CC BY-SA 2.0)]
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Dyson could get a head start by partnering with VW, producing hybrid drivetrains to replace all the cheating TDI diesels. It's a win all around - VW owners all get a new European engine and 50 MPG, VW can claim they engineered the fix, the air gets cleaner, and Dyson gets to alpha test their technology, so when the plastic bits break off, Volkswagen gets the blame.
Personally, I'd be more concerned about a Roomba car than a Dyson.