Electric cars are big business, especially in a world increasingly aware of the impact pollution from car emissions can have on the environment. Now a slightly unlikely name is reportedly hoping to make a transition into the industry: Dyson, a company best known for making vacuum cleaners and those weird hand dryers.
Ok that's not really news, because Dyson actually confirmed it was working on an electric car last September. What's changed now, however, is that reports claim the company actually has three cars in the works - with plans to ditch the standard lithium ion batteries in favour of a solid state alternative.
Last year also came with the news that Dyson had set aside $2.8 billion (£1.99 billion) for the project, and had 400 people working on getting one ready by 2020. Now the Financial Times reports that three are on the way, with the company investing in lightweight materials (like carbon fibre) and solid state battery technology to make it happen.
The 2020 goal is a bit of a stretch, though, with the Financial Times claiming Dyson will scale back its battery-based ambitions to make sure it has something to bring to market in two years time. That means Dyson will likely opt for a lithium ion battery for the debut model, even if its long-term goals involve solid-state energy storage.
It's not a surprise that Dyson is betting big on solid-state batteries, and it's unlikely to be the only car-manufacturing company working on it. Solid-state batteries are supposed to last longer and charge faster than lithium ion, as well as being more stable. Lithium ion batteries can be explosive when things go catastrophically wrong, but solid-state batteries don't have that issue. The only real challenge is making mass production cost-effective.
As for the cars themselves, the Financial Times claims that the first Dyson car will not be a sports car like Tesla's offerings, but will likely be a more specialised model than its successors. The second and third models are reportedly going to be produced in greater numbers, with mass-market aspirations.