The new Dyson electric car will be produced in Singapore, with construction of a new factory set to start in December
The new Dyson electric car is to be produced at a factory in Singapore, the company has confirmed – ending hopes for a British manufacturing site.
The UK firm has 400 staff working in a Wiltshire R&D centre on its EV. But it announced this week that the vehicle will be made in the Asian country, where Dyson already has a factory producing digital motors.
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Construction will start in December and the new plant will be completed in 2020, in line with Dyson’s plans to start selling its electric vehicle by 2021.
In a letter to staff, Dyson’s CEO Jim Rowan said: “Singapore offers access to high-growth markets, as well as an extensive supply chain and a highly- skilled workforce. It has a comparatively high cost base, but also a strong bias towards developing and using advanced technologies.
“It is therefore the right place to make high-quality, technology-loaded machines, and the right place to make our electric vehicle,” Rowan added.
Dyson’s UK testing facility
Although construction of Dyson’s EV will take place in Singapore, the new car is being developed at Hullavington, an ex-RAF airbase in Wiltshire. Dyson also recently submitted a new planning proposal to develop the facility, taking its investment in the site to more than £200m.
The plans show a range of test tracks that Dyson claims total more than 10 miles; these routes include a dynamic handling track, a large asphalt area to evaluate vehicle stability control systems, an off-road route, a fast-road route designed to replicate motorway driving, test slopes and a handling circuit.
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Dyson has restored two of Hullavington’s 1938 hangars to accommodate the staff so far, and it says an additional 15,000 square metres of space will become available in the coming months, as three more buildings come into use. The new plan includes an acceleration of that office space expansion, with 45,000 square metres of new development space that could accommodate over 2,000 staff and incorporate facilities like a cafe and a sports centre.
Rowan said: “Our growing automotive team is working from Dyson’s state-of-the-art hangars at Hullavington. It will quickly become a world-class testing campus where we hope to invest £200m, creating more high-skilled jobs for Britain. We are now firmly focused on the next stage of our automotive project, strengthening our credentials as a global research and development organisation.”
The Dyson electric car engineering project is being led by former Aston Martin man Ian Minards. The firm recently applied to extend its ‘Digital Motor’ trademark to automotive use – a sign that it plans to use its strength in the domestic products business to gain credibility for its first car.
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