Dyson has revealed plans to create on- and off-road vehicle test tracks at the airfield it bought last year, as it works towards launching an electric car.
The company has submitted plans for new buildings and areas to test a battery-powered electric vehicle. It said there will be rural and off-road courses, a skid pan and a high speed straight for cars able to exceed 100mph.
The planning outline also includes a visitor centre for people to learn about Dyson’s proposed electric vehicle and office space for up to 2,000 people, said the company.
Jim Rowan, Dyson’s chief executive, said: “Our growing automotive team is now working from Dyson’s state-of-the-art hangars at Hullavington Airfield. It will quickly become a world-class vehicle testing campus where we anticipate investing £550m, creating even more high-skilled jobs for Britain.”
Some 400 staff have already moved in.
Dyson has said it will launch an electric car in 2021. No prototype has yet been revealed.
Founder James Dyson recently told Wired magazine: "When we started this four years ago, Tesla was still very small, diesel-gate hadn't happened and no one was really considering electric cars. So we are not Johnny-come-latelies on this. We had seen it coming, invested in batteries and started our project."
He added: "Crucially, we have taken on people from the car industry and mixed them with our people, who are naïve in this area, but inventive - which i think is a really good mix, actually."