LONDON (Reuters) – James Dyson, billionaire British inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner, outlined plans on Thursday to build new testing facilities and invest another 116 million pounds ($150 million) to develop an electric car to be launched by 2020.
He published details of a planning application to build over ten miles of test track on a former World War Two airfield in Wiltshire, western England.
Dyson is betting on its engineering expertise honed in producing innovative vacuum cleaners and other products like bladeless fans and air purifiers to break into the global automotive industry.
“We are now firmly focused on the next stage of our automotive project, strengthening our credentials as a global research and development organization,” Dyson said.
The company has a 400-strong team of engineers working on the car project in Malmesbury, Wiltshire and outlined plans to develop a building complex that can accommodate over 2,000 people.
If the planning application is successful, it would take Dyson’s total investment so far in electric cars to 200 million pounds.
Reporting By Andrew MacAskill; editing by Stephen Addison