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Dyson planning huge EV test track

Dyson planning huge EV test track

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My coverage of the new Ford electric SUV earlier this week alerted me to a related story about British engineer and entrepreneur James Dyson. He is planning to convert Hullavington air force base in the south of England into a dedicated test facility for his electric car project.

Dyson has been talking about wanting to enter the EV industry for over a decade and has now put his money where his mouth is. He has invested an apparent $260 million into this part of the project to help see it through. As someone who has previously worked for Dyson in the UK, I am especially intrigued by this.

I worked briefly at his main plant is Wiltshire where his electric products are designed and built. He has invested a huge amount of money in R&D and is still heavily involved himself. The R&D part of the factory is locked down tight with multiple locks of various types, no windows and other privacy tools to help keep things secret. Whatever happens in there is worth the effort as the company has developed some of the most innovative products on the market.

Dyson EVs
As the future is definitely going to be electric, Dyson investing in EVs is a good thing. He is a disruptor. He takes traditional technologies and turns them on their head. He seems to see things differently and likes to do things differently. I am hoping he can do the same thing for electric vehicles. This is not a puff piece for Dyson. I just happen to have a unique insight to how the company works. This is more excitement about what the company could bring to electric cars that wanting to big up Dyson and their products.

Ford, Nissan, Honda, Audi, Porsche and many other automakers are driving the technology forward steadily but they all have one thing in common. A long history in automaking and a very established ways of doing things. This may generate some very practical and innovative ideas but it also may not.

A disruptor entering the industry could be the shot it needs to generate some real leaps in technology and innovation. Having met the man at the Malmesbury factory in Wiltshire, I think if anyone can take a big leap forward in electric motoring, it’s him.

So far, Dyson has invested that $260 million in a new base, moved 400 employees to their new home and is planning an entire development there. It is part of the company’s projected $2.7 billion total investment in electric motoring. Current projections are a car rolling off a production line somewhere by 2021.

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