James Dyson, the billionaire inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner, said his company was building a “radical” all-electric car for launch in 2020, with a commitment to spend 2 billion pounds ($2.7 billion) on solid-state battery technology and vehicle design.
Dyson said a 400-strong team of engineers had already spent two and a half years working on the secret project in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, developing the batteries that will power the in-house designed electric motor for the car.
He said on Tuesday he had not yet decided where the vehicle would be manufactured, although he had ruled out working with any existing auto companies. Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk recently challenged big carmakers to spend more on electric cars. After Daimler, Mercedes’ parent company, said it would invest $1 billion in its Alabama plant to start building an electric SUV in 2020, Musk responded that “that’s not a lot of money for a giant like Daimler/Mercedes.” “Wish they’d do more. Off by a zero.” Musk said on Twitter, Business Insider’s Danielle Muoio reported.
Musk has long welcomed competition in the electric-vehicle space, saying it will help speed the growth of sustainable transportation. He open-sourced patents in 2014 as part of that aim.
(Reuters reporting by Paul Sandle.)