Some seven months ago, British vacuum maker Dyson acquired a Michigan battery startup and touted its potential to increase the battery life of its cordless vacuums.
This week, however, The Guardian provided details about Dyson's potential entry into an entirely different market: electric vehicles.
Dyson planned to invest $1 billion in a new battery plant in the wake of its $90 million purchase of Sakti3, an Ann Arbor-based company that developed new solid-state battery technology.
Solid-state batteries, unlike conventional lithium-ion batteries, will not overheat and do not require expensive fire safety features. They could also last far longer and charge in a matter of minutes.
Although they hold promise for cordless vacuums, reports earlier this year showed that Dyson had received government funding for an electric vehicle project. Recent patent filings, according to The Guardian, showed a Dyson vehicle equipped with a solid-state battery.
Although the new batteries are likely at least 10 years removed from hitting showrooms, experts believe they could eventually prove decisive to the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. Numerous other automakers, suppliers and tech companies are also working on similar technology.
One expert, however, predicted that Dyson could eventually challenge Tesla Motors, whose forthcoming mass-market electric vehicle is expected to exceed 215 miles of range on a single charge. A solid-state battery could extend that range to 350 miles.
“Dyson have some excellent product engineering and some excellent marketing skills, so could they follow the same path as Tesla?" Warwick University's David Greenwood told The Guardian. "Well, yes, probably they could."