Sir James Dyson, the entrepreneur who revolutionised the vacuum cleaner, plans to launch an electric car in 2020.
Dyson has had a team of 400 engineers and developers working on the £2.5bn project since 2015, and although no prototype has yet been built, its electric motor was ready, he said.
He added that two different battery types are under development which he believes are already more efficient than those in existing electric cars.
The vehicle will be quite expensive to purchase, and the design is “all about the technology”, he said.
“What we’re doing is quite radical,” he added.
Further research and development work on the vehicle will take place at a new-build facility under construction at a former airfield at Hullavington, near Dyson’s Malmesbury headquarters.
Dyson expects the far east to be his biggest market, as he believes it has welcomed EV technology more quickly than Europe.
Like Tesla, Dyson’s car will not be aimed at the mass market.
“I’m not a Johnny-come-lately to electric cars. It’s been my ambition since 1998 when I was rejected by the industry that has happily been creating dirty vehicles, and governments have kept on allowing it,” he told The Guardian.
Dyson, whose cleaner sales generate high profit margins for the group, believes the car would be profitable and predicted the automotive operation would outgrow the rest of the company.
Dyson's ambitions outweigh those displayed in the 1980s by technology entrepreneur Sir Clive Sinclair, who brought to market a three-wheeled electric vehicle, the Sinclair C5.
That was planned to be the first of a number of Sinclair cars, but the remainder didn't get off the drawing board.