Dyson electric car plans revealed
New details on household appliance manufacturer Dyson's first car, which will go on sale in 2021 and be a Tesla-rivalling SUV...
Dyson is developing an electric SUV that’s about the same size as Tesla’s Model X, but with radically different proportions, newly released patents suggest.
The technology firm, which is better known for its vacuum cleaners and fans, is targeting prestige electric cars like the Tesla and Jaguar’s I-Pace, rather than cheaper models such as the Kia e-Niro and Nissan Leaf.
Key features of the Dyson car design include a heavily raked windscreen and comparatively narrow body to maximise aerodynamic efficiency and battery range, as well as enormous diameter wheels which are unusually thin.
According to Dyson, these wheels have considerably lower rolling resistance than conventional alternatives. Meanwhile, their greater inertia (a potential downside of their size) should actually help the regenerative braking effect that puts energy back into an electric car’s batteries when slowing down.
Initially, those batteries are likely to be of the lithium ion variety used by current electric vehicles. However, Dyson is also researching advanced solid state batteries, which have the potential to reduce weight and bring improved energy density.
The Dyson car’s interior features seating for seven, with the second and third rows mounted higher than those in front to give all occupants good visibility.
What's more, the patents describe a vehicle with front and rear axles that are set very far apart, which bodes well for passenger space.
Dyson is currently building a new automotive HQ near its UK base in Wiltshire, with a prototype manufacturing facility due to open there next month. However, production versions of the Dyson car will be built in Singapore.
Pricing is still to be confirmed, but you shouldn’t expect to get much change from £100,000.
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The top 10 electric cars currently on sale
Dyson isn't the only company that thinks electric cars are the future, but which of the current crop should you consider? Here we name our top 10 – and reveal the models to avoid.
10. Hyundai Ioniq
The Ioniq is really three cars in one – it's available as a conventional hybrid, a plug-in hybrid and as a fully electric car. The EV version we're including here has a range of 174 miles, and enough torque to make acceleration feel brisk around town. The interior is nice, too, and our recommended Premium models get sat-nav and heated front seats as standard.
9. BMW i3
Even though it’s getting a bit old now, it still looks incredibly futuristic outside plus its smart interior makes the i3 one of the most appealing electric cars on sale today. Its groundbreaking use of super-light carbonfibre and aluminium offset the weight of the heavy battery pack that’s mounted beneath its floor, and a recent facelift means it’s better to drive than ever. BMW reckons that it’ll manage around 160 miles on a full charge in real-world conditions, but the i3 covered 121 miles on our Real Range test.
8. Tesla Model X
On paper, Tesla's all-electric family SUV seems to be the dream combination, offering the luxury of a Range Rover Sport with the green credentials of an electric car. In practice, its low running costs and practical interior are hard to fault, and even entry-level versions aren't short on pace, but parts of its interior do look a little low-rent.
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