Dyson amps up drive toward electric cars

October 4, 2017

Fresh off the major announcement that his eponymous vacuum company is aiming to produce its own electric vehicle, James Dyson has expounded on his plans. He’s also gone on a bit of a hiring spree which has seen Dyson poach executives from the likes of Aston Martin and Tesla, a clear warning shot across the bow of the boutique car market.

In two years, Dyson has hired both the product development and purchasing directors off of Aston Martin, lending it invaluable experience in working with established automotive manufacturing suppliers.

David Wyer, Aston’s director of purchasing, joined Dyson as its director of procurement in August after a 22 year run at the famed English manufacturer. At the time, Dyson said only that it “recruits from a wide range of backgrounds,” and that it is “developing a multitude of technologies.”

A UK government white paper in 2016 leaked that Dyson was to receive up to £16 million (about $21 million) in battery research funding, prompting speculation that electric vehicles were part of the vacuum cleaner company’s long-term vision. Earlier this year, Dyson stated its intention to develop not just new battery technologies, but also artificial intelligence, renewing wide-spread belief that a Dyson electric car is in the works.

Further supporting the Dyson car rumor mill are hires of former Tesla spokesman Ricardo Reyes, who cryptically said, “You never know what Dyson has up its sleeve,” and the director of Silicon Valley software company Symantic Andrew Watson, who now serves as Dyson’s director of machine learning.

While there’s still no official word from the company regarding the scale of production, it seems obvious that the market now has less than three years to prepare itself for a world where Dyson, Tesla, and Aston Martin are direct competitors. In terms of personnel, they already are.

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