In Brief

Is Dyson making an electric car?

Government documents reportedly suggested the UK tech company is making a vehicle of sorts

Dyson is known internationally for making vacuum cleaners but it seems the company has bold new ambitions – electric cars.

Government documents seen by The Guardian are said to have claimed: "The government is funding Dyson to develop a new battery electric vehicle at their headquarters in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. This will secure £174m of investment in the area, creating over 500 jobs, mostly in engineering."

The plans were revealed in the National Infrastructure Delivery Plan – however, The Guardian says the documents have since been edited to remove any reference to Dyson and the supposed electric car.

Instead, it says, it now reads: “The government is providing a grant of up to £16m to Dyson to support research and development for battery technology at their site in Malmesbury."

It adds that Dyson would neither confirm nor deny it was working on an electric car.

It may seem odd for a company focussed on domestic gadgets to take a stride into the auto industry, but Forbes points out that Dyson could be in a good position to develop an electric car.

The company's line-up of vacuum cleaners, hand-dryers and bladeless fans all make use of "cutting edge electric motors", it says, while their premium designs enable the company to command top prices.

Nor is the rumour a one-off – tech companies are being linked to the automotive industry more and more, with the likes of Apple rumoured to have electric car plans of their own.

The Dyson reports are being stretched back two years by some. In 2014, the company's founder, James Dyson, pledged the firm would invest £1.5bn on research and development with the ambitious aim of introducing 100 new products by 2018. It now seems that an electric vehicle of sorts could be one of them, says Auto Express

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