From the company that brought you the original cyclonic bag-less vacuum cleaner, now comes "The Dyson Electric Car"!
No, not the one you're seeing here. While different from the cars you seen on the road these days, I don't think this would be really a big seller.
This image, however, apparently the only official image from Dyson, shows a much better-looking machine:
James Dyson was spurred on by the fast adoption of what he calls 'oxymoronically designated 'clean diesels'' .
With a team of over 400 highly-qualified engineers and an investment of £2bn, he is not messing about.
The acquistion of the start-up Sakti3, launched out of the University of Michigan by Professor Ann Marie Sastry, may prove to be the genius step needed to make this development a success.
Professor Sastry claims to have developed solid-state lithium-ion batteries producing over 400Wh/kg energy density, almost double what Tesla's Panasonic cells supply.
This would double the range for Electric Vehicles, and at the same time reduce the costs to around $100 per kilowatt-hour, the tipping point at which EVs start to rival petrol/diesel-powered cars on costs.
While technically an improved battery, with a ‘solid’ conductive material diffuse enough to let lithium-ions pass back and forth from anode to cathode, discharghing and charging the battery, there is still a lot of work to be done here.
The batteries developed by Satki3 work by modifiying secondhand equipment used to make printed foil crisp packets. This proven, thin-film deposition process employed to make flat panel displays and photovoltaic solar cells will layer micro-thin films of cathode followed by the current collector, then the interlayer anode and so on, all within a vacuum. Once assembled the resulting cells are charged and ready for testing.
However there is a huge difference between a lab test bench and series production. This challenge, combined by the development of a new engine, based on the digital electric motors used in the vacuum cleaners, makes that 2020 may not yet see the delivery of this new car.
Even if all technical issues are resolved, and the car is a potential Tesla-killer, the big question is; how much will the car cost? Dyson is known for the fact that it's products are not cheap.
No matter how sophisticated and good-looking the car is, if the price is too high, it will remain a niche-product and will be overtaken by the traditional car-manufacturers like Toyota and VW.