Dyson's electric car venture to be three-part

The first car won't have solid-state batteries after all.

We reported in September about vacuum cleaner innovator James Dyson's future plans to produce electric cars starting from 2020. Newly revealed information details the Dyson plan further: there will be a halo car first, and it will be followed by two less expensive models.

Initial information said that Dyson's vehicles would be powered by solid-state batteries, but according to the Financial Times, that appears to not be the case for the first vehicle to launch. Instead, the first car would be a lithium-ion powered limited edition of less than 10,000 units, and it would work as a trial run for Dyson to really get into EV car manufacturing. The company confirmed to Autocar that Ann Marie Sastry, the executive known for solid-state battery technology has left the company late last year, but Dyson would not disclose whether this has had an effect on the future battery pack choice for the first vehicle.

Behind Ann Marie Sastry's original embarking on the Dyson project was Dyson's acquisition of Sakti3, a solid-state battery company in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The deal was valued at $90m, and it was followed by Dyson's decision to relinquish rights to three Sakti3 solid-state battery patents. Out of major automotive manufacturers, only Toyota has disclosed plans to introduce solid-state battery packs in its near-future vehicles, with a solid-state car projected for 2025. The reasoning behind choosing this technology is based upon shorter charge times and longer range.

The Dyson venture, housed at a former Royal Air Force base, is valued at £2 billion, or $2,77 billion, and it currently employs 400 people. Half of the two billion accounts for battery development, the other half is for the vehicles themselves. Part of the funding comes from the British government's innovation funding. While the U.K. is mentioned in the company's plans for a manufacturing site, Dyson says to FT that China looks to be the strongest market for Dyson vehicles.

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