Dyson's new electric car is edging closer to production, with the company confirming a new manufacturing facility will be built in Singapore and finished by 2020.
The purpose-built two-storey plant is part of a £2.5 billion investment in the electric car project, with the production model set to be launched in 2021. The announcement follows the unveiling of its proving ground at Hullavington Airfield, Wiltshire, which includes test tracks, motorway-like surfaces, high-speed strips and an off-road course.
The decision to base the plant in Singapore is partly influenced by Dyson already having a strong foothold there, employing 1100 people at a facility that designs and builds the high-speed digital motors used in the firm's vacuum cleaners and hand dryers.
In a letter to Dyson employees, CEO Jim Rowan said: "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."
Dyson initially made its vacuum cleaners and washing machines in Wiltshire but transferred production to Malaysia in 2002 and, in 2004, opened a manufacturing plant in the country in a joint venture with a Singapore-based investment group. In 2013, Dyson opened its digital motor plant in Tuas, Singapore, which has since been significantly expanded. Having a supply network in the region will give it a head start in ramping up production for its first electric car.
Dyson's long-term automotive plans suggest a diverse range of electric cars will eventually be produced. We already know there will be a three-car line-up, with an SUV almost a certainty, on top of the high-end model already mooted. A sports car will not be part of the range, but a top speed of more than 100mph for one or more models is suggested.