What’s driv­ing Dyson? Vac­uum guru’s car plan

Dyson prom­ises its first car, due in 2020, will not be a me-too EV. It will be bold, rad­i­cal and dif­fer­ent. So what, ex­actly, will it be like? Richard Brem­ner investigates

Auto Car (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Dyson, the in­no­va­tive UK elec­tri­cal ap­pli­ance man­u­fac­turer, re­cently re­vealed that it is de­vel­op­ing a “rad­i­cally dif­fer­ent” elec­tric car that will go on sale in 2020. The com­pany is in­vest­ing £2 bil­lion in it and has a de­vel­op­ment staff of more than 400. De­tails of the na­ture of the car it­self are scant, though. Sir James Dyson wrote in an email to em­ploy­ees: “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.”

De­spite this, it’s pos­si­ble to hazard some idea of what a Dyson elec­tric car might con­sist of, not least be­cause Dyson him­self has said: “There’s no point do­ing some­thing that looks like ev­ery­one else’s. It is not a sports car and not a very cheap car.” On the ba­sis of th­ese not-in­sub­stan­tial clues and oth­ers, Au­to­car has de­vel­oped a pro­jec­tion of what the Dyson EV could look like and what fea­tures it might con­tain.

ILLUSTR ATION BEN SUMMERELL-YOUDE

Two Dyson­de­vel­oped high-power elec­tric mo­tors drive front wheels and dou­ble as gen­er­a­tor. Smaller mo­tor/ gen­er­a­tor for rear wheels to in­crease power re­gen­er­a­tion and pro­vide part-time four­wheel drive. In­verter sited up front Solid­state bat­tery pack de­vel­oped by Dyson sub­sidiary Sakti3. Pack is lighter and more en­ergy dense than lithium ion packs and needs lit­tle cool­ing, fur­ther re­duc­ing weight and the need for con­trol sys­tems. Pack of­fered with two dif­fer­ent ranges, to suit short and long-dis­tance users, and to of­fer a lower base price Re­mov­able cas­sette-style solid-state bat­tery pack of var­i­ous ca­pac­i­ties and prices, mounted within dou­ble-skinned front bulk­head. Bat­tery pack re­mov­able us­ing engine hoist from cov­ered slot for­ward of wind­screen. Bat­tery pack is struc­tural and locks into bulk­head to pro­vide sub­stan­tial ad­di­tional tor­sional strength High-pro­file tyres for im­proved ride. Tyres self-coloured in Dyson grey Nar­row, light­weight wheels re­duce weight, in­er­tia, road noise and cost of re­place­ment and im­prove turn­ing cir­cle Dyson Air­blade wind­screen clear­ing sys­tem. Heated screen cleared by 400mph air jets with water-in­jected wash func­tion. Sim­i­lar sys­tem used for rear win­dow

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