Autocar - - NEWS - MARK TIS­SHAW

Dyson is not only plan­ning to launch a car, the com­pany is do­ing so com­pletely on its own, con­struct­ing a new fac­tory in which to build the car, pow­er­ing it with bat­tery tech­nol­ogy no car maker has come even close to crack­ing and then fol­low­ing it up with a range of other mod­els.

By the time of its 2020 launch, Dyson will be com­pet­ing head-on with the in­dus­try’s big­gest play­ers, which all have highly de­sir­able and vi­able elec­tric cars of their own in pro­duc­tion and the net­works in which to sell them al­ready es­tab­lished. Re­mem­ber, the £2 bil­lion in­vest­ment is just for the car, before the sell­ing of it is con­sid­ered.

Un­like Tesla, Dyson will not have a head start on the com­pe­ti­tion. And even with its ad­van­tage, Tesla has never made a se­ri­ous profit. Dyson’s in­vest­ment will take years to re­coup, and the firm will have to hold its nerve in the face of the huge losses the project will ini­tially in­cur.

Yet the car in­dus­try of­fers enor­mous re­wards.

Dyson says that if the car is a suc­cess, it will quickly dwarf the rev­enues made from the com­pany’s vac­uum clean­ers and other prod­ucts such as hairdry­ers, fans and hand dry­ers.

China will most likely be the big­gest mar­ket for the car. In China, Dyson’s pop­u­lar­ity is boom­ing and the coun­try is fully be­hind the adop­tion of the elec­tric car. China is also used to new brands; the idea of a Dyson car might not seem so alien there.

It’s the solid-state bat­ter­ies Dyson is promis­ing to use that could be key to the project’s suc­cess, giv­ing the brand a key dif­fer­en­tia­tor.

Dyson has been de­vel­op­ing its own bat­tery tech­nol­ogy for two decades and knows its way around a chem­istry lab. In­deed, if it cracks the tech­nol­ogy first, per­haps a fu­ture as a bat­tery sup­plier could await too.

Dyson worked on ve­hi­cle tech­nol­ogy back in the 1990s

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