Update: James Dyson, CEO of Dyson, has confirmed that his company plans to release an electric car in the year 2020.
In an email sent to company employees, Dyson stated that the company has "started building an exceptional team that combines top Dyson engineers with talented individuals from the automotive industry. The team is already over 400 strong, and we are recruiting aggressively."
£2bn is being committed to the project, but Dyson added that the "specifics" of the vehicle will remain confidential.
"In 1988 I read a paper by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, linking the exhaust from diesel engines to premature death in laboratory mice and rats. In March 1990 a team at Dyson began work on a cyclonic filter that could be fitted on a vehicle’s exhaust system to trap particulates," reads the email.
"By 1993 we had developed several working prototypes and showed an early iteration to British television programme Blue Peter. The team went on to develop a much more sophisticated technology.
"To our chagrin, nobody at the time was interested in employing our diesel exhaust capture system and we stopped the project. The industry said that ‘disposing’ of the collected soot was too much of a problem! Better to breathe it in?
"In the period since, governments around the world have encouraged the adoption of oxymoronically designated ‘clean diesel’ engines through subsidies and grants. Major auto manufacturers have circumvented and duped clean air regulations. As a result, developed and developing cities are full of smog-belching cars, lorries and buses. It is a problem that others are ignoring.
"At this moment, we finally have the opportunity to bring all our technologies together into a single product. Rather than filtering emissions at the exhaust pipe, today we have the ability to solve it at the source."
We'll have more on Dyson's vehicular plans shortly. In the meantime the original story, relating to the rumors circulating the potential plans this morning, follows below.
Dyson car plans
Dyson may be on the verge of revealing plans to launch its own electric car, according to a new report.
The company, best known for its bagless vacuum cleaners and bladeless fans, would be doing away with another traditionally-key component in its electric car designs, going all electric for power rather than opting for petrol or diesel engines.
This would put it in direct competition with Silicon Valley's Tesla, which makes premium electric cars.
On the hiring highway
According to the Daily Mail (opens in new tab), the vehicle is being developed at Dyson's UK headquarters in Wiltshire, with the company on a hiring spree to pick up key talent from the car industry. This is thought to include a designer from Elon Musk's Tesla team (as well as Ricardo Reyes, the company's communications executive) and Ian Minards, formerly a product development director at Aston Martin, hinting at the luxury quality that Dyson may be aspiring to.
It's also been investing heavily in artificial intelligence, a sector where many of Dyson's latest recruits have been plucked. Dyson has pumped £2.5 million into AI development, which also buoys its robot cleaner ambitions.
Dyson has previously bought solid state battery company Sakti3, which develops the kind of technology required by an electric vehicle.
It also secured £174 million in government funding to develop "a new battery electric vehicle", according to documents uncovered last year.
We've contacted Dyson for comment and clarification regarding the latest round of rumors, and will update this story if and when it responds.
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