James Dyson to Build an Electric Car, Launching in 2020

Promo image. Sinclair C5

He has been a fan of them for years, and might well vacuum up the market.

Thirty-two years ago, the great British inventor Sir Clive Sinclair introduced the Sinclair C5, an electric tricycle with a body designed by Lotus. It was a total marketing bomb at the time.

Now another great British inventor, James Dyson, is trying his hand at it. Years ago he invented a filter for diesel engines that nobody wanted, and now “cities are full of smog-belching cars, lorries and buses.” He writes:

Throughout, it has remained my ambition to find a solution to the global problem of air pollution. I committed the company to develop new battery technologies. I believe that electrically powered vehicles would solve the vehicle pollution problem.... we finally have the opportunity to bring all our technologies together into a single product...so I wanted you to hear it directly from me: Dyson has begun work on a battery electric vehicle, due to be launched in 2020.

It makes sense; they have developed batteries, digital control systems and other applicable tech for his existing products (and will have no trouble with the ventilation systems). It might even be self-cleaning with a vacuum cleaner built in. And he has the money (according to the Daily Mail, he owns more land than the Queen), planning to invest 2 billion pounds in the project. That's US $2,687,810,000 today, but shrinking fast). Unfortunately, he tells Richard Westcott of the BBC:

He promised that it will be radical and different, because, as he put it, what is the point of making it like any other car? And he promised that it will not be cheap.

To which I say, bring back Clive Sinclair's C5! It cost a couple of hundred pounds. Make it cheap, so that everyone can replace their diesels.

Dyson concludes his memo by noting how many people have died due to air pollution in London. And at least when all the cars on the road are Dyson electric cars, the anti-bike lane people will have to stop complaining that bike lanes cause pollution.

Here’s the memo:

dyson memo

© James Dyson