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Household Appliance Manufacturer May Be Designing Your Next Car

Dyson products are sleek, edgy-looking, and pricey, but after an almost 25-year long start-up phase, the ‘Dyson’ brand is now a well-established global leader in top-quality, highly innovative industrial design.

Even if Dyson appliances have not yet made their way into your household, you have more than likely, at some point, pulled your washed hands through the Dyson Airblade, an industrial hand dryer that “uses a thin sheet of moving air as a squeegee to remove water” resulting in faster drying using much less energy than traditional electric hand dryers.

And now there is the possibility that soon—if Tesla or Chevrolet or Apple or BMW or Daimler (the list grows) doesn’t tempt you—a Dyson battery electric vehicle may be just the ‘appliance’ that will suit your garage and all your driving needs.  This promise was announced recently—September 26, 2017—in a digital message from James Dyson to “All Dyson Worldwide” that “Dyson has begun work on a battery electric vehicle, due to be launched by 2020.”

The announcement set its own stage by reciting the relevant history:

 in 1988, a report by the US National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety linking the exhaust from diesel engines to premature death in laboratory mice and rats

 in March 1990, Dyson starting work on a cyclonic filter to trap particulates from a vehicle’s exhaust system

 in 1993, Dyson has developed several working prototypes but finding no interest in them; and, thereafter, the unfolding of the ‘clean diesel’ debacle.

Throughout, said James Dyson, he continued searching for a solution to the “global problem of air pollution” and came to believe that electrically powered vehicles “would solve the vehicle pollution problem.”

Hence Mr. Dyson committed to, along with all the other innovations underway, developing new battery technologies.  Now, he said, “We finally have the opportunity to bring all our technologies together into a single product” that will solve the problem “at the source.”

Dyson is committed to a £2bn investment in this project, already has a team of 400 “top Dyson engineers with talented individuals from the automotive industry” at work on it, with aggressive recruitment ongoing. 

But then the messaging becomes less specific: “The project will grow quickly from here but at this stage, we will not release any information. Competition for new technology in the automotive industry is fierce and we must do everything we can to keep the specifics of our vehicle confidential [emphasis added].”

Media reports have added embellishment: “Yes it will be radical and different,” said Dyson because “what is the point of making it like any other car?”  As for the potential market: “We see a very large market for this car in the far east;” and as for cost: “it will not be cheap.”

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