First patents surface for Dyson electric car


SAN FRANCISCO • Dyson Ltd’s electric car may have a long wheel base, an interior cabin with reclining seats and an aerodynamic design, according to patents awarded to the company.

The patents, filed about 18 months ago and made public on Wednesday, are the first glimpse of the car being built by the UK-based company known for pricey vacuums, hair dryers and air purifiers.

In an email to staff, founder James Dyson said the patents “don’t reveal what our vehicle will really look like or give any specifics around what it will do”, but they do “provide a glimpse of some of the inventive steps” the company is weighing.

The patents also indicate Dyson is mulling a vehicle with larger wheels to improve efficiency. Dyson’s email also hinted at a car with a low centre of gravity to improve handling.

The company posted a new automotive page to its website detailing its history in the automotive world and how its experience working on motors could contribute to a car.

Dyson joins a growing list of technology companies getting into the car business.

Tesla Inc has pioneered electric vehicles, Alphabet Inc’s Waymo unit leads in self-driving technology, while Apple Inc has had an automotive project since about 2016.

Dyson first disclosed plans to build an electric car in 2017, saying it would invest £2 billion (RM10.8 billion) on the vehicle and accompanying batteries. Last year, the company said it would build a facility in Singapore to develop the car it hopes to introduce by 2021.

In his email to staff, Dyson said that testing of the car would ramp up next month and that more than 500 people are working on the project. — Bloomberg