Thursday, 28 September 2017 02:51

Dyson's 'battery electric vehicle' coming in 2020, won't suck

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If there's one thing about Dyson's technology, it's some of the very best you can get, with vacuums that suck, blowers that blow, dryers that dry and soon, cars that drive electrically with a £2 billion investment to make it happen!

Whatever James Dyson and his astounding team of engineers put their minds to, they excel at. They've made vacuums so good at sucking that the rest of the industry rushed to copy Dyson's designs once patents ran out, simply because competing vacuums sucked so very badly.

Dyson re-engineered hand dryers so they actually dried your hands in record time, and whenever you see one of the various clones out there, the clones suck because they just don't do anywhere near a good a job at blasting air as Dyson does.

I mean, while competitors are full of tepid hot air, you will be blown away by just how well Dyson does drying in the restrooms of discerning establishments wanting the genuine article and not some cheap, not blow-hard enough, barely copy-cat device.

It's the same with Dyson's new hair dryer, which also revolutionised the delivery of hot air in a way that competitors could only dream of doing, without damaging hair and while being perfectly and powerfully portable.

And those are but some of Dyson's product lines, with humidifiers, air purifiers, heaters, fans and more coming from Dyson's labs to retail shelves.

Now, when Dyson announces it is working on a battery-powered electric vehicle, this is truly exciting news, and will surely give the Teslas, Apples, Googles, Waymos, Intels, BMWs, Audis, Ubers and plenty more a real run for their money, and a truly quality competitive product for consumers to buy and fall in love with.

So, what's best to do here is to simply reprint, in full, the email that Dyson's founder and chief executive, James Dyson himself, emailed to his staff on this very topic.

Here we go:

"In 1988 I read a paper by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, linking the exhaust from diesel engines to premature death in laboratory mice and rats. In March 1990 a team at Dyson began work on a cyclonic filter that could be fitted on a vehicle’s exhaust system to trap particulates.

"By 1993 we had developed several working prototypes and showed an early iteration to British television programme Blue Peter. The team went on to develop a much more sophisticated technology.

"To our chagrin, nobody at the time was interested in employing our diesel exhaust capture system and we stopped the project. The industry said that ‘disposing’ of the collected soot was too much of a problem! Better to breathe it in?

"In the period since, governments around the world have encouraged the adoption of oxymoronically designated ‘clean diesel’ engines through subsidies and grants. Major auto manufacturers have circumvented and duped clean air regulations. As a result, developed and developing cities are full of smog-belching cars, lorries and buses. It is a problem that others are ignoring."

"Throughout," continued James Dyson, "it has remained my ambition to find a solution to the global problem of air pollution. Some years ago, observing that automotive firms were not changing their spots, I committed the company to develop new battery technologies. I believed that electrically powered vehicles would solve the vehicle pollution problem. Dyson carried on innovating.

"The latest digital motors and energy storage systems power the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer and cord-free vacuum line. We’ve relentlessly innovated in fluid dynamics and HVAC systems to build our fans, heaters and purifiers.

"At this moment, we finally have the opportunity to bring all our technologies together into a single product. Rather than filtering emissions at the exhaust pipe, today we have the ability to solve it at the source. So I wanted you to hear it directly from me: Dyson has begun work on a battery electric vehicle, due to be launched by 2020.

"We’ve started building an exceptional team that combines top Dyson engineers with talented individuals from the automotive industry. The team is already over 400 strong, and we are recruiting aggressively. I’m committed to investing £2bn on this endeavour.

"The project will grow quickly from here but at this stage we will not release any information. Competition for new technology in the automotive industry is fierce and we must do everything we can to keep the specifics of our vehicle confidential.

"In London, nearly 9,500 people die early each year due to long-term exposure to air pollution according to a study carried out by researchers at King’s College London. The World Health Organisation reports “in 2012 around 7 million people died – one in eight of total global deaths – as a result of air pollution exposure”.

"It is our obligation to offer a solution to the world’s largest single environmental risk. I look forward to showing you all what I hope will be something quite unique and better, in due course!".

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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