An electric car that doesn’t suck.
It’s a horrible cliche but when a vacuum company is rumored to be developing an electric car, there’s a certain responsibility to dive into the realm of predictable jokes, get them out of the way, and then move on to the bigger news.
In this case the news is that Dyson, the company famous for selling expensive vacuums and the hand dryers found in public restrooms, could be working on an electric car.
The joke potential here is huge, but I will refrain and instead comment on what matters: Another company from outside the car industry is reportedly building a car.
If true, this is big.
We must keep in mind that as we inch closer to April 1, the potential for fake news stories increases exponentially. This is one of those stories that would seem real on April Fool’s Day, then be revealed as a joke on April 2.
The Dyson story, however, appeared earlier this week on The Guardian, a website known as a reputable source of news in Britain. That article says,
The company, which makes a range of products that utilise the sort of highly efficient motors needed for an electric car such as vacuum cleaners, hand dryers and bladeless fans, last year refused to rule out rumours it was building one.
But on Wednesday, the government appeared to have accidentally disclosed Dyson is working on one, along with other big companies outside of the automotive industry, such as Apple.
Further evidence that Dyson is up to something can be found by looking back to last year, when the company bought a solid-state battery company for $90 million that is said to have developed a breakthrough in battery technology.
Company founder James Dyson has a long history of inventions and a car doesn’t seem like an unreasonable addition to that list. Plus, Dyson is worth several billion dollars and could handle the costs of developing a vehicle, especially if those costs were shared by the government.
The UK’s National Infrastructure Delivery Plan said,
The government is funding Dyson to develop a new battery electric vehicle at their headquarters in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. This will secure £174m of investment in the area, creating over 500 jobs, mostly in engineering.
It appears that Dyson is indeed working on a vehicle, though the company refuses to comment. If true, this will further blur the lines between tech companies and car companies while pushing the boundaries that define how cars are developed, marketed, and sold.
Would you buy a car made by a vacuum company?