Dyson on track for first electric vehicle launch in 2021

Dyson car concept as imagined by Autocar

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It's been nearly two years since vacuum cleaner giant Dyson announced plans to build electric cars, something founder and chief engineer James Dyson has been hinting at since 2008.

The patents also indicate Dyson is mulling a vehicle with larger wheels to improve efficiency.

In an email sent to all his employers, founder James Dyson said that the electric auto is being kept secret until it is ready to be launched, and that the design "shows an androgynous vehicle and provides a glimpse of some of the inventive steps that we are considering".

Patents do highlight that Dyson could use "very large wheels" to suit bumpy terrains with improved "range and efficiency".

The patent filings are the first clue to what the "radically different" auto pledged by British inventor Sir James Dyson might look like. The driver would be seated lower in the cabin, with a shallow-angled windscreen improving the aerodynamics of the auto.

Dyson has been a proponent of solid-state battery technology, but Autocar reports there is the possibility the company could also launch hydrogen fuel cell or plug-in hybrid vehicles.

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Advances have been made in the aerodynamics, efficiency and vehicle architecture of the auto, he added. Last year, the company said it would build a facility in Singapore to develop the auto it hopes to introduce by 2021.

Previously, Dyson said that it is looking to "more than double" the headcount of its Research, Design and Development (RDD) teams in Singapore.

However, Dyson maintains that the auto is a British project, with the design, engineering and testing of prototypes being carried out in its Wiltshire base, the ex-military Hullavington airfield where hangars have been converted to house the project.

According to Bloomberg, in an email to staff CEO James Dyson asked employees to not share any details about the vehicle, but testing would ramp up next month with more than 500 people working on the project.

The auto would contain "fundamentally new technologies and make some inventive leaps" Sir James told staff, meaning it was vital that they "protect it with patents".

He said that competitors had missed opportunities by adapting electric vehicles from existing formats, but Dyson's was "a vehicle which has been developed from the bottom up".

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