The Dyson electric car project has taken another step forward with fresh plans for the company’s UK site that will include a test facility.
Dyson’s EV is being developed by around 400 engineers at Hullavington, an ex-RAF airbase in Wiltshire. It’s expected to arrive on the market in 2021, introducing solid-state battery technology that’s further down the timelines of established car manufacturers. The company is investing around £2bn in the project – although at present, there’s still no word on where the batteries will be manufactured, let alone where the cars themselves will be produced.
However, Dyson has now submitted a new planning proposal to develop its Hullavington facility, taking its investment in the site to more than £200m. The plans show a range of test tracks that Dyson claims total more than 10 miles; these routes include a dynamic handling track, a large asphalt area to evaluate vehicle stability control systems, an off-road route, a fast-road route designed to replicate motorway driving, test slopes and a handling circuit.
Dyson has restored two of Hullavington’s 1938 hangars to accommodate the staff so far, and it says an additional 15,000 square metres of space will become available in the coming months, as three more buildings come into use. The new plan includes an acceleration of that office space expansion, with 45,000 square metres of new development space that could accommodate over 2,000 staff and incorporate facilities like a cafe and a sports centre.
Jim Rowan, Dyson’s CEO, said: “Our growing automotive team is now working from Dyson’s state-of-the-art hangars at Hullavington. It will quickly become a world-class testing campus where we hope to invest £200m, creating more high-skilled jobs for Britain. We are now firmly focused on the next stage of our automotive project, strengthening our credentials as a global research and development organisation.”
The Dyson electric car engineering project is being led by former Aston Martin man Ian Minards. The firm recently applied to extend its ‘Digital Motor’ trademark to automotive use – a sign that it plans to use its strength in the domestic products business to gain credibility for its first car.
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