Dyson has confirmed it's working on an electric vehicle manufacturing facility, with the vacuum (hair-dryer, fan, hair-curler, hand-dryer) company's board approving plans to build a two-storey facility in Singapore.
The factory is set for completion in 2020, and follows on from the announcement earlier this year of £200 million ($367 million) investment in new buildings and test facilities at the Dyson's campus in the United Kingdom.
Both the Singapore and UK announcements are part of the company's claimed £2.5 billion investment in new technology around the world. Makes those bagless vacuums look cheap, right?
In an email to staff today, Jim Rowan, Dyson CEO, said the decision of where to make a car is "complex, based on supply chains, access to markets, and the availability of the expertise that will help us achieve our ambitions" in a crowded marketplace.
"I am delighted to let you know that the Dyson Board has now decided that our first automotive manufacturing facility will be in Singapore. We will begin construction in December and it will be completed in 2020, meeting our project timeline," Rowan said.
"Our existing footprint and team in Singapore, combined with the nation’s significant advanced manufacturing expertise, made it a frontrunner. Singapore also offers access to high-growth markets as well as an extensive supply chain and a highly skilled workforce.
"Singapore has a comparatively high cost base, but also great technology expertise and focus. It is therefore the right place to make high quality technology loaded machines, and the right place to make our electric vehicle."
When it launches, we know... actually, we know very little about the Dyson EV, beyond the fact it'll be launched in 2020. James Dyson, founder of the brand, has told GQ Magazine what the company is doing is "quite radical". He also hinted at the availability of some autonomous features, as well as a variation of the 360-degree camera used in high-end vacuums.
The company has poached numerous engineers from Aston Martin over the years, and has also accepted battery grants from the British Government.