Dezeen Magazine

James Dyson Brexit

Dyson set to launch electric car in 2020

British inventor James Dyson is investing £2 billion into developing a battery-powered vehicle, which is expected to launch in 2020.

An email sent from Dyson to his employees revealed that a 400-strong team is already working on the project, which will see the company "bring all its technologies together" to create an electric car.

The email didn't reveal any specific details relating to the project for confidentiality reasons, but Dyson did disclose that the car would be launched within the next three years.

"I wanted you to hear it directly from me: Dyson has begun work on a battery electric vehicle, due to be launched by 2020," read his email, which Dyson posted to its company Twitter page shortly after it was sent yesterday.

"We've started building an exceptional team that combines top Dyson engineers with talented individuals from the automotive industry," he continued. "The team is already over 400 strong, and we are recruiting aggressively. I'm committed to investing £2 billion on this endeavour."

The car is part of Dyson's long-term ambition to "solve the global problem of air pollution" – something he has been looking into since 1988, when he read a paper exploring the link between diesel engines and premature death.

By 1993, a team at his eponymous firm had created an exhaust filtering system that trapped particulates. But according to Dyson, companies weren't interested in employing this technology to their cars.

"Some years ago, observing that automotive firms were not changing their spots, I committed the company to develop new battery technologies," he said. "I believed that electrically powered vehicles would solve the vehicle pollution problem."

"At this moment, we finally have the opportunity to bring all our technologies together into a single product," he continued. "Rather than filtering emissions at the exhaust pipe, today we have the ability to solve it at the source."

The news confirms earlier speculation that the company was developing its own battery-powered vehicle at its Wiltshire headquarters – details of which were leaked by government documents last year.

If all goes to plan, Dyson's car will be released way ahead of the UK's ban on the sale of all diesel and petrol vehicles – set to take place in 2040.

With many countries employing similar restrictions, the race towards electric cars is speeding-up rapidly. Although Tesla largely pioneered this area of the industry, models from companies including Jaguar, Porsche, Volkswagen and MINI are all expected to come on the market within the next few years.

Dyson, which made it into the top 50 of the most read-about brands on Dezeen last year, is famous for its bagless vacuum cleaners and hand-drying products.

More recently, the company has launched a hairdryer that is silent to human ears, and announced the opening of a second campus as a "a global hub for its research and development".