Vacuum cleaner maker Dyson has picked the spot for the electric car factory: Singapore. They want to break ground before the year’s end with the first EV to rival Tesla to roll of the lines by 2021. The choice builds on Dyson’s extensive workforce in the city state that is also the world’s second-largest container port.
More importantly, Singapore has a free trade agreement with China, the planet’s largest (electric) car market. Dyson’s decision follows earlier announcements that had put Singapore on the map (we reported). Dyson plans to launch no less than three electric vehicles backed by a two billion pound investment.
The first EV is to arrive by 2021 with model 2 and 3 likely featuring solid-state batteries. However, Dyson had written of 46M GBP (over €51M) on U.S. battery developer Sakti3 after a sweeping review of their investment in September. Dyson had acquired the Michigan University spin-off for 90 million dollars in 2015 but now recorded an impairment charge to the profit and loss statement included in their accounts after reviewing their investment.
So far, Dyson has not offered any new information on battery technology. But, they announced a 200 million pound investment (220 million euros) in order to set up six test driving tracks for their yet to be built electric vehicles in August. More than 400 employees of the automotive team are already working on Hullavington Airfield in Wiltshire, a site which will be expanded by another three buildings in the next months and already measures 17 km in length.
Also in Singapore, Dyson already has a 1,100 strong workforce in the region and said their step to establish electric car production here is partly a matter of availability of engineering talent, regional supply chains and proximity to some key target markets, namely China. Rather than hiring contractors for the construction like Tesla, Dyson will build the electric car factory themselves.
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