The inventor Sir James Dyson has tweeted plans to develop and build an electric car by 2020 and promising to hire hundreds of people in the process.
He’s confirmed an investment of £2bn of the company’s money to build what he calls a “radical” motor from scratch over the next few years.
The first vehicles will have “basic” self-driving technology but not be fully driverless.
Sir James says he had been inspired to develop his own vehicle after car giants had ignored his pleas to use Dyson’s emission-reducing exhausts in the 1990s. A fully-electric car has been an ambition of the company since 1998 and full work on the project began two and a half years ago.
He hopes his company’s expertise in batteries and electric motors will give it an edge despite all carmakers rushing to electric and hybrid models.
The company will develop the car at Hullavington, a former Second World War RAF base in Wiltshire, which will open next year, and is currently developing the vehicle at its nearby headquarters.
The Telegraph says Sir James gave no details away on what the car will look like, saying only that it would be a major departure from existing cars. “There’s no point in doing one that’s like everybody else’s. You’ll have to wait and see, we’re trying to be radical,” he said. Dyson is not working with any existing manufacturers on the project, planning to build the car from scratch.