Dyson electric car plans revealed

UK vacuum cleaner and hairdryer manufacturer, Dyson, says it will introduce a Tesla-rivalling electric car by 2020

Words By Steve Huntingford

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Sir James Dyson

Dyson has revealed plans to develop and build its own fully electric car by 2020, after receiving support from the UK Government.

The technology firm, which is better known for its vacuum cleaners and hairdryers, will target prestige electric cars, including the Tesla Model S, rather than more mass-market offerings such as the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe.

A wider range of Dyson cars, including more affordable models, may follow later, however.

At the announcement of the car, company founder Sir James Dyson said he believed "electrically powered vehicles would solve our vehicle pollution problem".

Dyson also criticised car makers and governments around the world for pushing "oxymoronically designated 'clean diesel’ engines". He said: "As a result [of this], developed and developing cities are full of smog-belching cars, lorries and buses, and it is a problem that others are ignoring."

The Dyson car is currently under development at the company's Wiltshire headquarters and will be built in the UK, although performance, range and production numbers are still to be revealed.

Some 400 people are involved in the project, including former Aston Martin director of purchasing, David Wyer.

The top 10 electric cars currently on sale

Dyson isn't the only company that thinks electric cars are the future. Here we count down our current favourites, tell you which models to avoid, and look ahead to the other electric cars you'll be able to buy soon.

10. Volkswagen e-Up

The regular Volkswagen Up is one of our favourite city cars, and this electric version is just as practical and good to drive; it feels almost entirely uncompromised by its conversion to electric power. It's just that unfortunately, it costs twice as much as the petrol models.

What Car? rating Rated 3 out of 5

Read the full Volkswagen Up review

Find a great Volkswagen Up deal

9. Nissan Leaf

One of the more affordable electric models on sale, the Leaf is about the same size as a Vauxhall Astra and similarly easy to drive. There are two battery options to choose from: a 24kWh that allows a theoretical range between charges of 124 miles, and a 30kWh that extends this to 155 miles. The latter is only available on the more expensive trim levels, though.

What Car? rating Rated 3 out of 5

Read the full Nissan Leaf review

Find a great Nissan Leaf deal

8. Toyota Mirai

The Mirai is a hydrogen-fuelled car, which means that you'll need to fill it up with hydrogen at specially chosen filling stations, of which there are currently very few. It's powered by a single 152bhp electric motor and can travel for up to 400 miles between refills. We found it to be quiet and well controlled, but at around Β£66,000 it's certainly pricey, and with limited volumes coming to the UK it's likely to be a very rare sight.

What Car? rating Rated 3 out of 5

Read the full Toyota Mirai review

Next: the top 10 continued >

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