By on February 16, 2018

vacuum cleaner

Last year, British appliance manufacturer Dyson said it would devote $2.7 billion towards the development of an electric car. The plan was to build a vehicle using advanced solid state batteries and bring it to market in 2020. There was no shortage of jokes about how a company that primarily produces vacuum cleaners would probably make a car that really sucked wasn’t very good.

However, the joke seems to be on them, as Dyson isn’t working on an electric car at all. Recent reports seem to indicate it’s actually developing three. But you can still snicker about the overly ambitious battery timeline, because there is practically no way the company can hit that target. Instead, it looks as if Dyson will rely on lithium-ion batteries rather than solid state on the first car — effectively eliminating the one big advantage it would have had when entering the market. 

A new report from the Financial Times, which managed to get a peek at Dyson’s EV program, said the first car will be used to establish a point of entry into the automotive market, a supply chain, and a potential customer base. As a result, it should have “a relatively low production run.” According to people familiar with the plan, the number would be in the low thousands.

Before you put that plan down, it’s essentially what Tesla did with its first model. Since the introduction of the Roadster, which had a product run of around 2,450 units between 2008 and 2011, the company has managed to increase its staff tenfold and become a darling on Wall Street.

However, Tesla’s first car was also the first model to break the coveted 200-mile range mark. That, along with a difficult-to-ignore CEO, helped get the company a lot of positive attention. Dyson will be entering the market with a vehicle that could be competitive but is unlikely to break any records without help from the solid state cells.

That said, it isn’t abandoning the technology. Dyson has already acquired Michigan-based battery startup Sakti3 for $90 million and announced its intention to build a $1 billion battery factory — specifically for solid state batteries — in the near future. But it also abandoned the University of Michigan’s $200,000-a-year license patent portfolio Sakti3 used as a base for its own research and split with the company’s founder, Ann Marie Sastry. That leaves us wondering if Dyson actually got what it needed from the deal.

The FT article reported that the company is considering a few automotive manufacturing locations. Presently it appears to be leaning toward production based in the United Kingdom, but has also been examining sites in Singapore, Malaysia and China.

While there’s definitely room in the EV market for new entrants, Dyson would need to work quickly to avoid serious competition from established manufacturers. It’s doubtful that any company is going to have solid state technology ready for cars in the next two years, but they are all actively pursuing it.

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33 Comments on “Dyson Planning on Building Three Cars, Not Just One...”

  • avatar

    I bet it sucks.

  • avatar

    If the cars cost relatively as much as their vacuums they’ll go broke before they start.

  • avatar

    They will need to get a designer.

    We have a Dyson V8 Absolute. It can’t replace a full-size vacuum but it’s absolutely great for what it is — it lives in the kitchen, hanging on the pantry wall, and you can just pull it down and clean up after dinner without hassling with cords or canisters or anything else. It’s very cleverly engineered. But it may be the ugliest object in our house. That won’t fly with cars.

  • avatar

    Don’t buy Dyson Vacs. Save up and get Miele or Riccar or a real Electro Lux. The boneyard at most vacuum places is filled to the brim with Dyson’s along with all the other plastic bagless models.

    • 0 avatar

      Don’t buy any of those. I spent years in the hotel industry. Vacuum cleaners run for 8 hours a day in a big hotel, sometimes more. Hotels I have worked in have universally used Oreck vacuum cleaners. Not only are they durable, but they are also designed to be infinitely repairable.

      Five years ago I bought a factory-refurbished Oreck Commercial vacuum cleaner. I’m pretty sure I can keep it the rest of my natural life.

      Oh, and it was $99. No “saving up” required.

      • 0 avatar

        You must have better employees than me, my guys can wreck a vacuum in a week. We use Sanitaire uprights. I spend alot of time replacing fan blades and brush strips.

        • 0 avatar

          I don’t know that brand, but the fact that it is repairable already makes it better than a Dyson.

        • 0 avatar

          I bought a Sanitaire because I didn’t care too much for what was on the store shelves. Bagless was out of the question.

          The custodial staff at my office building uses them and have said that they are very durable and do a great job. I’ve seen them used at hotels and other commercial places and at less than $300, it’s a bargain for something that lasts. My wife thinks it’s boring and ugly but I love the classic look. I also love the fact that it vibrates deep into the carpet and the suction is very serious.

          I’ve got a Speed Queen washer and dryer too. Again, wife thinks its boring but it will outlast any washer you buy in the store.

          • 0 avatar

            I only buy Speed Queens for work. Period.

          • 0 avatar

            Costco Business has the Bissel version (exactly the same inside, but still has the metal housing) and it’s a nice dark green and black. Plus a magnetic strip to pick up paperclips and such.

      • 0 avatar

        I have to agree with you eggsalad. After going through the gambit of bagless vacuums, a commercial Oreck has been a godsend. The relibality alone is priceless. Dyson’s upright makes me feel like a chump for even trying it.

    • 0 avatar

      Kirby is the way to go, especially if you score a lightly used one.

      We picked up one with all the attachments for $500 including a free pack of bags.

      In terms of quality of cleaning, you won’t find better. Made in the USA. Actual metal housing. Good stuff.

      • 0 avatar

        My mom has a Kirby but she never uses it. She put it away so she could use her new Dyson after using our Dyson Animal. We have had no issues with ours other than having to clean long hair off the beater brush. Ours is only 11 years old though so I couldn’t tell you what the longevity is. I do know mom is picky about cleaning and she hates how heavy the Kirby is and how well it doesn’t do her carpet.

        If anyone wants a used Kirby, let me know.

        My sister bought an animal as well since she has dogs in the house. We bought our animal when we bought our house because the PO had dogs with long black hair and our cheapo at the time did not get the hair, nor did any of mom’s, including the Kirby.


    • 0 avatar

      I’ve spent about $100 on parts and tools repairing my 8 year old Dyson. Belts and brushes, more than once. Thanks to YouTube, if you can wrench a ’50’s car [I did], you can fix a Dyson. Mine still sucks like new.

    • 0 avatar

      I can only speak from personal experience. 2 dyson vacs and we love em. I’ve never replaced them or have ever replaced a single part on them. I know there are other good vacs. just zero complaints on mine.

  • avatar

    I look forward to quality motorcars from Dyson Leyland.

  • avatar

    The prominent name plus the lure of a “green” car factory and battery plant will have politicians across the globe lining up to dole out some gravy.

  • avatar
    Stanley Steamer

    I bet the A/C will really blow well.

  • avatar

    What’s the over/under on the number of times the word “suck” gets used in this thread?

  • avatar

    They are going to make a car? How 2005 of them! The rest of us have moved on to mobility solutions.

  • avatar

    They just want to vacuum, and they want you to blow – your money

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Might be good to have a car that vacuums up you garage and in a pinch can dry your hair. This would be a 3 in one concept and would keep the roads free of debris. Dyson motto would be “Our car sucks so you don’t have to.”

  • avatar

    Have Dyson. Like Dyson. Trust Dyson.

    Would consider any Dyson product.

  • avatar

    Making an electric car isn’t very difficult. Mass producing an affordable electric car is another story. Even with billions of dollars, only a few have been moderately successful. I don’t see what Dyson has that puts them in that league.

  • avatar

    England is know for their electrics. This will go well, and there will literally be no jokes and preconceived notions dogging this from the start. None at all. Really.

  • avatar

    I don’t see how they can make money by building only 3 cars, not to mention it is hard to see how 3 people driving around in Dyson electrics will significantly reduce global warming.

  • avatar

    SO I guess it will have a built in vacuum to clean the interior..put it this way it better have a vacuum cleaner in it!!!

  • avatar

    At least they aren’t Lucas batteries. They probably would not pass CA emissions if they were.

  • avatar

    What a great way to burn $2.7B. I’d way rather be in the premium vacuum business. Seriously, I bought my wife a Dyson for xmas and she was thrilled. Good on Mr. Dyson for making cleaning desirable again. With cars, I’m not so sure he will see such success.

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