Will Dyson build an electric car?

Sir James Dyson delivers his speech during the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.

James Dyson could announce plans to build his own range of electric cars. The man behind the company best-known for its vacuum cleaners (and most recently hand dryers, hair dryers, and fans) is set to unveil a prototype electric vehicle today, reports suggest.

Of course, the last time a British inventor set out to reinvent the electric car, we ended up with the Sinclair C5. Dyson's track record with high-end vacuums would suggest a rather more polished effort, though.

Tracking of Dyson's investment has led to speculation that the firm will move into vehicle ownership. Dyson has purchased a solid-state battery company, and recruited experts in computers and 'machine learning' – suggesting any future vehicle may be autonomous.

Along with massive investment of £2.5 billion into artificial intelligence research, the firm has employed two former Aston Martin staff members – product development director Ian Minards, and director of purchasing David Wyer. A designer from Tesla has also moved over to the company.

The shift to electric vehicle manufacturing would not be an easy one, however – and nor would Dyson be the first British company to do so. Aston Martin, Jaguar Land Rover and Mini have revealed plans for all-electric and hybrid cars, while the world's best-selling electric car, the Nissan Leaf, is built in Sunderland.

The Dyson car could be built at the company's headquarters in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, creating over 500 jobs.

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