Dyson paid about $90 million for Sakti3, which was led by Ann Marie Sastry and spun out of the University of Michigan, USA Today says. The draw is Sakti3's solid-state technology, which can give the batteries a higher energy density with fewer moving parts than the conventional lithium-ion batteries that are commonly used in plug-in vehicles. So while the batteries may go along way in extending the single-charge life of Dyson's bagless vacuum cleaner, the technology may be put to better use in future plug-in vehicles. The company isn't being specific about its plans for Sakti3, though it has said it was looking to become a broader technology company and not just a vacuum-cleaner maker.
Earlier this year, Dyson sunk $15 million into Sakti3. That battery company's investors also include General Motors. As of this spring, Sakti3 had raised about $50 million, and was on record as saying its sold-state batteries had the potential to provide twice the energy density of a more typical lithium-ion battery. Dyson is said to have set aside more than $2 billion specifically for tech-related investments, so this could just be an early step into something bigger.