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.