back to article Dyson to build electric car that doesn't suck

Vacuum-cleaner maker Dyson has announced its intention to build a “battery electric vehicle.” Founder James Dyson says he's doing it to reduce pollution and therefore the many deaths that can be linked to car emissions' effects on air quality. “In 1988 I read a paper by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and …

  1. Richard 12 Silver badge

    The date seems very optimistic

    Given that neither Dyson nor Dyson have any expertise or even any public experience of any of the components or regulatory requirements of an EV.

    I wonder who they're buying.

    1. Lysenko
      Joke

      Re: The date seems very optimistic

      Not necessarily. Here's the fully functional prototype.

      1. ttGuy

        Re: The date seems very optimistic

        Lol! Well, we laugh, but it could actually clean the garage of leaves every time you park it or leave.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The date seems very optimistic

      Given that neither Dyson nor Dyson have any expertise or even any public experience of any of the components or regulatory requirements of an EV.

      What, like Tesla a few short years back? And I'd not expect Dyson to build them - plenty of competent contract car builders around, or spare capacity at major makers.

      There are a few surplus car plants they could buy, lock stock and barrel, but I don't think that would be the plan. Good luck to him.

      1. Roger Shepherd

        Re: The date seems very optimistic

        If the Dyson car is radical will will innovate in production. What Tesla and the others are doing is only replace the an ICE drivetrain with an electric one - there's no change in manufacturing or distributions. Dyson would be capable of doing production - they might licence a process (e.g. Gordon Murray's iStream) or they might do something from scratch.

    3. Christian Berger Silver badge

      Well, electric cars are much simpler...

      ... and Dyson already has experience with many of the remaining hard parts. They know to design 3-dimensional parts, they know about fluid dynamics, they know about electric motors and batteries.

      So my guess is that they'll just have a motor per wheel connected to some dampers. I mean there are student competitions for building cars, it can't be _that_ hard.

      Also Dyson is to big to have to worry about regulatory issues.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well, electric cars are much simpler...

        "Well, electric cars are much simpler."

        Have you ever seen the complexity of a Dyson washing machine / clothes shredding deivce?

        Lets hope his car is more like the DC02 cleaner than his washing machines, fans and hand driers. Whilst his hand dryer encouraged a step change in performance in the industry, I find that other manufacturer's driers get your hands dry faster.

        For the record, I can state right now that I won't be able to afford his electric car. He's going to be going head to head with Tesla, not with the Nissan Leaf or the Renault Zoe.

        1. SW10
          WTF?

          Re: Well, electric cars are much simpler...

          Am I the only one thinking

          "C5"?

          1. Manu T

            Re: Well, electric cars are much simpler...

            yeah but that one used a simple whirlpool engine. This one has a turbo (aka cyclone). :-)

        2. MR J

          Re: Well, electric cars are much simpler...

          It doesn't matter, he will be the first producer to use a Digital Car motor.

      2. TRT Silver badge

        Re: a motor per wheel connected to some dampers...

        automatically adjusts between driving over hard surfaces and carpet.

    4. Halfmad
      Facepalm

      Re: The date seems very optimistic

      You can easily buy expertise in these areas, it's not as if he personally needs to read up on it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The date seems very optimistic

        You can easily buy expertise in these areas

        I don't believe that's the case. All the car makers are looking to build competence in EV design and manufacture. It's a seller's market for these skills at the moment, with a shortage of capability in things like traction battery engineering, traction electronics, power management, automotive motor control systems, and the like. And continuing skills like body engineering need to adapt for a completely different way of building cars. Relative to demand there's few engineers with actual experience, so people have to grow their own (and live with the risk of attrition).

        A relative of mine works on production line control systems, and although he's always been UK based, he's now been assigned to a huge "no expenses spared" project on the US West Coast on EV manufacture because of this global skills shortage.

        1. James Hughes 1

          Re: The date seems very optimistic

          Yes, you can buy it. Ricardo in Cambridge specialise in selling their services in this area. There may be skills shortage right now, but that will ease.

    5. Manu T

      Re: The date seems very optimistic

      Perhaps that is just what we need. Look at Tesla. Musk had no expertise in cars either and look what he did. The Tesla Model S is the no.1 electric vehicle to which all others are judged.

      We need guys like Dyson and Musk whom think outside the box to find innovative automotive solutions. Especially since the "classic" automotive industry keeps dragging their feet. In fact were are the BMW's, Mercedes, GM and Ford e-cars? GM even destroyed most of their own E-car-project probably in favour for some stupid sheiks or a corrupt government. It's about time that the corrupt car-industry is brought on its knees and that other players break their barriers.

  2. laurence brothers

    Pollution impact

    Apparently Dyson has warned that this will be a very expensive vehicle. Presumably this places it out of reach for most drivers. How will such a car do anything to affect pollution if the vast majority of drivers can't afford it?

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Pollution impact

      By acting as a development step.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: Pollution impact

        Given the subsidies likely to be involved, the vast majority of drivers will be paying for part of each one.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Pollution impact

      The bicycle was once a toy exclusively for the rich. It didn't stay that way, and became accessible to many.

      1. Elmer Phud

        Re: Pollution impact

        Erm, the bicycle was responsible for YOU having Tarmacadam on roads.

        Had it not been for middle-class ladies demanding a smoother ride it looked like no-one was going to take up the new idea.

        'Toys' my arse

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pollution impact

      I still find it amusing that we're so very worried about fossil fuels whilst making cars that replace petrol and diesel ones out of.. plastic. Which not only helps the oil industry but is also making its way into the food chain.

      Increasing lifespans of vehicles would potentially help, but we need better plastics we can dispose of properly.

      1. Elmer Phud
        FAIL

        Re: Pollution impact

        Oh, I was totally unaware that plastics can ONLY come from oil.

        meh

      2. Jim Cosser

        Re: Pollution impact

        The vast majority of plastic products are single use, that's the main problem, cars don't really fit the bill there...

        1. Gordon JC Pearce

          Re: Pollution impact

          Maybe the answer would be to develop a drop-in replacement for existing oilburning powertrains, keeping the bodyshells of smelly old diesel cars on the road with clean electric powertrains.

          If you came up with something that just dropped in where a PSA Group XUD engine (and derivatives) went in you'd take about half the diesels off the road at a stroke.

          1. James Hughes 1

            Re: Pollution impact

            @Gordon JC Pearce

            Not going to work. Tesla cars work so well because they are designed from the ground up to be electric. The battery is low down, the car built around it.

            Not only that, but with electric you can get rid of much of the transmission which is power hungry, a drop in replacement would still require some sort of transmission I suspect. And where would you put the battery?

            1. Manu T

              Re: Pollution impact

              trunk?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Pollution impact

            which is what I've been asking for ages. Why not retro-fit new technology in current cars?

            It used to be done with LPG/LPI though I understand that replacing a whole engine and drivetrain is significantly more difficult.

            But I guess there's more money to be made from totally new cars with their own new problems then allow people to keep using their current cars.

            Not to mention that most o/t new e.g. hybrid cars are fugly!

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Pollution impact

            you'd take about half the diesels off the road at a stroke.

            That would ba at a four-stroke, surely?

            :)

          4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Pollution impact

            keeping the bodyshells of smelly old diesel cars on the road with clean electric powertrains.

            And Morris Minors. Don't forget the moggies!

            (My wife is actually quite concerned with the lifespan of hers and whether she'll still be able to get petrol in 20 years time. There is one guy in Bristol who is working on a project to electrify the Morris Minor - if he can get it working then I would imagine that the various companies involved in the classic car scene would be quite interested..)

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pollution impact

        Most of the plastic used in a car is or at least can be made of material which is recyclable.

        Also, the amount of oil used in the plastic production is insignificant to the amount used to run a petrol/diesel car over its lifetime. A petrol/diesel car will still have plenty of plastic in it anyway.

        The bigger issue is potentially the environmental impact of battery production and disposal, I would imagine.

        1. AndyFl

          Re: Pollution impact

          Batteries are not a huge problem from an environmental impact[1] viewpoint and anyway I expect that carbon based super-capacitors will start to become common in about 5 to 10 years at which point you could simply burn them when you want to dispose of them.

          Lithium batteries in cars now appear to last much longer than everyone was worrying about a few years ago and I think average battery lifetime in a car will probably exceed 10 years. After this point the battery will not be able to deliver the high peak power that a car needs but it will certainly be good enough for grid or home power storage probably for something like another 15 years.

          Try doing that with a second hand car engine or fuel tank!

          Andy

          [1] Well, apart from digging the lithium out of the ground that is.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Pollution impact

            You seem to forget that many diesel cars run over 350000 or 400000km. Which usually equates to about 20 years. My own car is now 10years old and has just run over its 200000km. It's well taken care of and is still in good driving condition. It probably wont change in 5 years from now (provided I don't get an accident). But due to emission legislation I'm forced to replaced this good car in great condition in about 3 years. By then it will have, I guess, about 250000km.

            I can't say that I'm thrilled to replace this good car with all the luxury with something electric. Especially not for the price that I paid for this car. Unless I can get an all-electric vehicle with airco, heated seats, leather, navigation etc... for 10000 ukp

    4. D@v3

      Re: Price

      What i read elsewhere is that it is less about the overall price of the vehicle, and more about how much of a deposit you are able to put down.

      Even so, with nowhere to charge one of these things (can't do it at home or work) , i will be sticking with good old dead dinosaurs for some time.

  3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Popcorn

    A car is not an vacuum cleaner.

    It is a complex device with tens of thousands of parts going into it. As a result, building cars in this day and age is a massive cross-border trade exercise. Car manufacturers source 70%+ of what goes in a car outside their organizations and usually (in Europe) across the border. It will be interesting to watch Mr Leave Business Poster Child trying to sort out his supply chain to build anything that size and/or complexity. That calls for some Popcorn.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Popcorn

      Or you just get Magna Steyr to do it for you.

      But thanks for the information about a car not being a vacuum cleaner. I've noted for further reference.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: Popcorn

        Dyson only really do the design in the UK. They'll make it wherever it works out best for them. Nothing wrong with this, just the modern way of doing business.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Popcorn

          "Nothing wrong with this"

          Unless, of course, you're looking for a job in UK manufacturing.

        2. Elmer Phud

          Re: Popcorn

          Just normal to close factories here ans move it all to China to make a huge profit?

          O.K., screw local workers, become a capitalist SuperStar!

          1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

            Re: Popcorn

            Build it here and risk having your assets appropriated by the state at a "parliament defined market value" if Marxist Labour get in? Or build it in capitalist China where you're safe?

            I know which I'd prefer.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Popcorn

      "It will be interesting to watch Mr Leave Business Poster Child trying to sort out his supply chain to build anything that size and/or complexity. "

      Given that he doesn't build his existing products in the UK or elsewhere in the EU I doubt he'll build this one here either. The mess that he leaves for UK manufacturers won't affect him.

      1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: Popcorn

        Nissan disagree with you.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Popcorn

      This does explain why he's so keen to kill off some of the current car manufacture in the UK. I'll be working hard to make sure noone I know buys one.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You miserablists

        I'll be working hard to make sure noone I know buys one.

        A question for the Official El Reg Miserable Bastards who seem to be having a field day with this: Exactly how successful does an engineer have to be in Britain before you lot will be positive about them?

        The AC quoted above, on the basis of a series of presumptions, reckons they will bad mouth a British designed product that has yet to be specified and designed, that they've not seen, and whose details are unknown. I look down the plentiful whiney, negative comments in this thread, and do I see ambition, hope, celebration of success, appreciation of applied technology, a passion for innovation? No. Why are you lot here? You could be crying about Brexit on the Guardian forums, shouting about the evil march of progress on the FoE website, or attacking success and wealth on any number of Labour party related forums. Its like I'd imagine the Curmudgeons Forum for the Help the Aged web site, full of people who are busy proving that clouds are always available without silver linings. Wouldn't you all rather be on those forums, with like minded people?

        1. Alister Silver badge

          Re: You miserablists

          Exactly how successful does an engineer have to be in Britain before you lot will be positive about them?

          They have to be dead for at least 50 years before we start to think they were any good...

          Geoffrey de Havilland (died 1965) just about makes the cut...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You miserablists

          Dyson is no more an engineer than Clive Similar. They are both self publicising marketing men using what they tout as original design backed by massive marketing campaigns to sell engineering tat.

          I really had to break the death grip the salesman had on my throat when told him what I actually wanted was a Numatic Henry, at half the price, British made, works better than any die-soon.

        3. hplasm Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: You miserablists

          "Exactly how successful does an engineer have to be in Britain before you lot will be positive about them?"

          Probably all DevOps. Not allowed screwdrivers.

          1. James Hughes 1

            Re: You miserablists

            Dyson is an engineer - certainly more so that Sinclair. The development of the original Dyson vac was done by him IIRC. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Dyson

            And you can keep your Henry, I'll stick with my Dyson that been running for years and actually sucks stuff up.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: You miserablists

              Yes you can keep your Henry. I went through three in a year so I didn't keep mine, I replaced it with a Titan vac from a DIY shop which was at least 1/3 the price of a Henry and it sucks much harder. And it has lasted 4 years of use every other day.

              It depends what you use them for really, there's one for every occasion. I have a Dyson for the house which I wouldn't swap for anything. The Titan is for DIY because plaster dust will kill a Dyson motor. The handheld Dyson is for spot cleaning after the house rabbits and it cannot be beaten by any other handheld IMO.

              1. Jan 0

                Re: You miserablists

                > plaster dust will kill a Dyson motor

                Well, yes, but why do you let it get in there? I've been Dysoning a _lot_ of plaster dust for over a year. (Living in a building site:) I need to keep washing the cyclone and primary filters regularly. but there's not a hint of plaster on the final filter (HEPA?) that keeps dust out of the turbine, motor and exhaust. I also know I'd rather breathe the exhaust from a Dyson, rather than a Henry or Titan.

            2. Duffy Moon

              Re: You miserablists

              I thought the only thing Dyson designed was the ball-barrow (are they still around?). He seems to me to be primarily an egotistical businessman like Branson (and Edison) who produces overpriced goods heavy on style and light on durability.

              I seem to recall that Which said that Dyson vacuum cleaners are the least reliable (Miele being the most). £300 for a hairdryer indeed. White goods for Apple fanbois.

              1. Wilseus

                Re: You miserablists

                "[Dyson] seems to me to be primarily an egotistical businessman like Branson (and Edison) who produces overpriced goods heavy on style and light on durability."

                Rubbish.

                I have owned an early Dyson for nearly 20 years, which from memory cost me about £170. In that time it's never given me any trouble, save for an internal hose which split (and they sold me a new one for about £4) and the cyclone unit broke which cost about £40 to replace. That's pretty much all it's cost me for 20 years of service.

              2. nijam

                Re: You miserablists

                > I seem to recall that Which said that Dyson vacuum cleaners are the least reliable...

                Confirmed by a trip to the tip (sorry, Community Recycling Centre) where Dysons seem to be disproportionately-well represented.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: You miserablists

                  Despite all the hype, people don't Dyson, they hoover

                2. Wilseus

                  Re: You miserablists

                  "Confirmed by a trip to the tip (sorry, Community Recycling Centre) where Dysons seem to be disproportionately-well represented."

                  Dyson are the best selling vacuums in the country so of course there will be more of them at the tip.

        4. DropBear Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: You miserablists

          "Exactly how successful does an engineer have to be in Britain before you lot will be positive about them?"

          You must be new here. Yes, I know full well you aren't but that only makes the question more perplexing. IT'S WHAT WE DO. What's the point of pointing out stuff that is just fine and dandy? Everyone else out there is lining up to do that (even when it's not true, which is most of the time), they don't need us for that. Rather when stuff is plainly bollocks instead there should be someone to point that out too, and we happen to love doing just that. But let it not be said I'm not addressing your point - as a matter of fact I don't see much bickering around here regarding Elon's rocket landings so hey, I propose a new El Reg unit: One Musk as the threshold of engineering achievement at which bickering reaches zero. You're welcome.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: You miserablists

            I propose a new El Reg unit: One Musk as the threshold of engineering achievement at which bickering reaches zero.

            Thank you for that well thought out and amusing riposte! Although funnily enough, Musk is by academic background a physicist, not an engineer. I'd agree we like to "stick it to the man" on anything, even Musk gets cut no slack round here over Hyperloop. Another contributor opined that Dyson hasn't been dead long enough (or even at all) to be appreciated, I suspect that's true as well.

            But it was the relentlessness of the criticism of Dyson that got me, such as criticising him for being good at marketing his products, even one or two disparaging comments that Dyson is like Apple, as if that's a bad thing. I'll wager that Franco-British genius IK Brunel was a bloody good economist and a master of spin and salesmanship. If you can't sell it, then other than as a hobby there's no point making it.

            Interesting thought experiment for all: Would you be proud to work at Dyson? I bloody would.

            1. DropBear Silver badge

              Re: You miserablists

              "Interesting thought experiment for all: Would you be proud to work at Dyson? I bloody would."

              To be perfectly honest, past typical hearsay I don't factually know enough about them to base a serious job application on - but if they are indeed like Apple, I certainly wouldn't be willing to work for them for any wage (yes, really). And by "like Apple" I mean "successful mainly via being good at talking easily razzle-dazzled suckers out of their money as opposed to actually delivering tech worth the prices they ask". People who actually have a clue about technology typically don't forgive people who do that sort of thing, regardless of how rich they manage to get or how much the real world seems to validate them financially.

              And sure, Isambard Kingdom Brunel may well have been a consummate businessman but coincidentally he was also a remarkably good engineer, and that's why he gets a pass and respect from most of us all around. Had he been just another "never mind the substance, feel the hype" P.T. Barnum, rest assured we'd ridicule him day in and day out too - kinda how Edison is a bit shunned in certain circles these days thanks to his business acumen being arguably a bigger part of his success than his actual tech prowess. Whether I'm right or wrong (which I may well be), that's the "illustrious" company I see Dyson in, and in my book, that only gets them contempt and scathing ridicule. And if there ever was a properly mean, vindictive bastard - I'm it...

        5. bobajob12
          Happy

          Re: You miserablists

          Amen. This is *exactly* why I emigrated 15 years ago. Not just getting torn down for succeeding, but being torn down for even trying.

    4. itzman
      Holmes

      Re: Popcorn

      An electric car can be extremely simple and bought for less than £500

      https://www.modelsport.co.uk/

      So there is nothing fundamentally complex about an electric car.

      In fact its a heck of a lot simpler than an IC car. No pistons, cylinders crankshafts timing gear injectors water radiators, starter motor clutch, engine management computer, exhaust system, starter battery, lambda sensor turbocharger, MAF sensor, water temperature sensor oil filter...

      Look under the bonnet of your car, remove everything and put back a single computer to control a single electric motor, and perhaps some aircon rads and a fan. Of course brakes and steering are still required, but these are not rocket science.

      An electric car is a cinch to make.

      Apart from a suitable battery.

      1. Martin Audley

        Re: Popcorn

        Not normal brakes - if you don't recapture the electricity from regenerative braking you won't have a competitive car with decent range.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Popcorn

        "Look under the bonnet of your car, remove everything and put back a single computer to control a single electric motor, and perhaps some aircon rads and a fan. Of course brakes and steering are still required"

        You've left in the entire transmission. You might want to take that out and replace it with a motor at each wheel. You also have to think about regenerative breaking and how to recover power back into the battery, otherwise you're going to have a very short-range car. The aircon rads aren't going to be much use because you've removed the aircon pump which is driven by the engine.

    5. PickledAardvark

      Re: Popcorn

      It's worth noting that the wiring loom in a 2017 conventional petrol or diesel car is one of the most expensive components. When you add in the switches, displays, control systems etc for gadgets (ignoring ECUs and suspension/steering controls), there's more electrical and electronic design than in any existing Dyson product.

      1. Steve the Cynic

        Re: Popcorn

        "the wiring loom in a 2017 conventional petrol or diesel car is one of the most expensive components"

        That made me think of my own adventure in car repair.

        The car was a 1986 D Mark II Fiesta, with the 1.1L petrol engine. I bought it in 1995 when I got a better job and (a) could afford to buy a car and (b) needed to buy one to get to the job and (c) even had more money after paying for the car in the new job than I had had without the car in the old one.

        In around 1997-8, the sticky-out bits on the ends of the wiring to the right-hand front indicator bulb housing broke off, so there was nothing to hold the wiring in place.

        Ford service manager: Hmm. Well, that housing is actually part of the wiring loom - it's not meant to be replaced separately.

        Steve: How much would that cost to replace?

        Manager: About 500 quid just for a new wiring loom and ... a lot ... for the labour to replace it.

        Steve: (hard look) Just to replace the bulb housing?

        Manager: Let me talk to the lads in the back.

        (time passes)

        Manager: Good news. If you go to the Ford Truck and Van Repair Centre at (gives directions) you can get a spare housing for a Transit - it's mechanically compatible with the socket for the housing - and splice some spade connectors onto the existing wires to connect it up.

        Steve: Cool, thanks.

        ...

        FT&VRC sales attendant: That'll be eight ninety five, thanks.

        Yeah, from half a grand plus labour to under a tenner. I'll take that.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Aircon pump...

          FYI the air conditioner in a Toyota Prius (NHW20 onwards) is all electric. It's actually quite a feat of engineering because it's totally sealed with the motor coils sealed inside the unit with the refrigerant. So you do need a special gas with zero conductivity, but there's no drive shaft seal to leak it away again, so it should stay good for many years. Mine's been going 11 years now without a refill and there are no problems - works fine.

          1. PNGuinn
            Mushroom

            Re: Aircon pump...

            " It's actually quite a feat of engineering because it's totally sealed with the motor coils sealed inside the unit with the refrigerant."

            Wot - like that black thingie at the bottom at the back of my fridge freezer - the bit wiv the wires and all the pipes going to it?

            The special gas used to be a freon, (think they're still used on cars) but the greenies don't like those. So now we use isobutane. Works ok unless it develops a leak into the cabinet, reaches the lower inflammability limit and the cheap electromechanical stat clicks in. Tends to blow the bl**dy doors off. The kitchen doors. And windows.

  4. Mark 85 Silver badge

    he wrote in a treatise posted to Twitter.

    The concept of a treatise posted to Twitter just boggles my mind for some reason. I do hope it was a short summary and not a full treatise.

    On second thought.. nevermind. I see he did an image copy/paste. Still boggles the mind a bit as it doesn't enlarge for me and is pretty much illegible with the last parts cut off.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      He's obviously beta testing 280 character tweets.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bet it's totally funded and underwritten by the UK Government and tax efficient as well.

    1. Elmer Phud

      You mean 'not actually produced here, to maximise profits and ensure no pesky Union issues like workplace environment'?

  6. Joe Werner

    Solve this at the source

    Well, "green" power generation aside: a coal power plant can be fitted with ginormous filters and mechanisms to extract some of the more nasty stuff - and in the civilised world they are required to have these in place today anyway (maybe not to the extent you might want, but still). Those would be quite impractical to fit to a car... He was not talking about CO_2 emissions, although carbon capture and storage can be done easier if your source is stationary and does not require more energy to move your machinery around (I'm not saying anything about the feasibility of the tech... that's a different discussion).

    1. JC_

      Re: Solve this at the source

      Yep, that last comment in the article was a complete clanker. It's far easier to inspect one power plant to ensure that its filters are effective and operational than it is on millions of vehicles which may have worn out, modified or non-existent (VW!) mechanisms, every one owned by a voter who might get pissy being informed that diesel exhaust is poisonous.

      The UK has had times recently where no power comes from coal generation - it's clearly on the way out.

      1. PNGuinn
        Unhappy

        Re: Solve this at the source

        "The UK has had times recently where no power comes from coal generation - it's clearly on the way out."

        Soon to be replaced by "The UK has had times recently where no power comes" - it's clearly on the way out".

        "Smart Power Cuts" (TM).

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Solve this at the source

      "He was not talking about CO_2 emissions"

      thankfully, or I would have considered his premise to be pure B.S.. Since he's apparently referring to diesel exhaust [specifically] and either particulate or unburned hydrocarbons or other byproducts of combustion, ones that irritate lungs etc., then he still has a point. However, given that car exhaust in the USA has been cleaned up pretty well, it's much less of a problem than it used to be. And we don't allow tetra-ethyl-lead in the fuel any more.

      I still can't see the energy density of batteries and their recharge rate being any better than the 'liquid energy' of petroleum, along with the convenient refilling of the fuel tank. Until THAT happens, electric cars will merely be toys for the rich, the experimenters, and the smug.

      My gasoline car can go 400+ miles on a "charge" and takes about 5 minutes to fill up. How's that compare to an electric car? That goes TRIPLE when it comes to "road trips". I can gas up before I leave, drive halfway up California, and gas up again, and get all the way to San Jose, or even San Francisco, starting out San Diego, within a day [stopping only for piss breaks and food, and that one stop for gas]. Try THAT in a purely electric vehicle...

      1. Elmer Phud

        Re: Solve this at the source

        But you've always built shit cars out there that relied on cheap fuel.

        It was only that you were forced to change, you didn't 'choose'.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Solve this at the source

        "My gasoline car can go 400+ miles on a "charge" and takes about 5 minutes to fill up. "

        And you've probably just described about 1% of journeys.

        For cities, where the biggest pollution occurs, it's a completely different scenario. Most are likely to be under 20 miles.

        Now getting the electric into the car can be a whole other issue.

        And I'd hardly call a Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe, Volkswagen e-Up a rich persons toy. More expensive yes, but still cheaper than your average rep mobile.

      3. Richard Simpson

        Re: Solve this at the source

        Ah, the old "An electric car is no use to me so everyone else who has one must be a fool" argument.

        Well, Bombastic Bob, it would appear that your lifestyle does indeed require a gasoline car and you would currently be a fool to buy an electric one. BUT, it doesn't follow from that that everyone else has the same use case as you do!

        Here is an entirely true example:

        I have a colleague who sits a few desks from me. He lives in Bournemouth with his girlfriend and works in Salisbury. They own two cars. One is a Nissan Leaf and the other a conventional "gasoline" hatchback. Each morning they get into their respective cars and he drives 35 miles to Salisbury whilst she drives 5 miles to her job near Bournemouth. His Leaf has enough range for the 70 mile return trip, but he could charge up at our work electric charge points if he wanted to.

        Evenings and weekends when they drive together they use the Leaf for short journeys (e.g. shopping) and her "gasoline" car for long journeys (e.g. visiting relatives). They find that this arrangement is entirely convenient and save an absolute fortune in fuel (particularly considering that "petrol" here in the UK costs a lot more than "gasoline" where you are).

        So, having read this description (which I assure you is entirely true) would you describe my colleague as rich, an experimenter or smug? Perhaps smug is the right answer as that is probably how he feels about his huge cost savings.

        1. nijam

          Re: Solve this at the source

          > Ah, the old "An electric car is no use to me so everyone else who has one must be a fool" argument.

          Well, it's no worse than the "electric cars are brilliant because they're only useful for journeys which you could walk in a couple of hours" that some apologists trot (sorry) out.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Solve this at the source

        The argument from personal incredulity. I need a car to drive from LA to San Francisco therefore ALL cars must be capable of driving from LA to San Francisco. I only use my car to drive to the corner shop and pick up the fags and beer, so I think any car with a range of more than 10 miles is a ridiculous waste of energy.

        1. fandom Silver badge

          Re: Solve this at the source

          " I only use my car to drive to the corner shop and pick up the fags and beer"

          Have you ever heard of a new invention called 'walking'?

          1. Rob D.
            Joke

            Re: Solve this at the source

            > Have you ever heard of a new invention called 'walking'?

            Tried it but the range was terrible and it took ages to recharge.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Solve this at the source

              "I only use my car to drive to the corner shop and pick up the fags and beer"

              The guy you were replying to sounded like he was from the US, context is everything.

        2. itzman

          Re: Solve this at the source

          I occasionally need a car to do a 200 mile trip, therefore I need to ownn a car that will do 200 miles non stop.

          This is true because of government legislation. I would own two cars, one electric for all the short hops, but tax insurance and MOT of low mileage cars makes it more expensive than buying the fuel for the short hop journeys.

          1. James Hughes 1

            Re: Solve this at the source

            @itzman No you don't need to own a car that can do 200miles. You get an electric car, then hire something else for the long journeys.

            Or just get a Tesla with >200mile range.

            1. MrXavia

              Re: Solve this at the source

              @James Hughes "No you don't need to own a car that can do 200miles. You get an electric car, then hire something else for the long journeys."

              Bugger that, have you driven a hire car? they are awful!!

              If you want something half decent, then you spend £300+ a day, add in the hastle of going to fetch it....

              For most people its more cost effective to just buy a petrol/diesel car.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Solve this at the source

                @MrXavia

                "If you want something half decent, then you spend £300+ a day, add in the hastle of going to fetch it...."

                What the bloody hell are you hiring?

                You can hire a Porsche for less than that.

      5. itzman
        Holmes

        Re: Solve this at the source

        "...still can't see the energy density of batteries and their recharge rate being any better than the 'liquid energy' of petroleum, along with the convenient refilling of the fuel tank. Until THAT happens, electric cars will merely be toys for the rich, the experimenters, and the smug..."

        ALMOST true. Lithium air is getting very close to a tank of kerosene, but its an insanely difficult technology to build a battery out of., But I never say 'never' if something is possible

        Unfortunately a massive market just waiting for a suitable battery, doth not a suitable battery make...

      6. PickledAardvark

        Re: Solve this at the source

        "However, given that car exhaust in the USA has been cleaned up pretty well, it's much less of a problem than it used to be. And we don't allow tetra-ethyl-lead in the fuel any more."

        50 odd years ago, professionals in public health, meteorology and transportation noticed how cars were creating smog in California. California was a good place to analyse the problem because it has a variety of warm climates and geography. CO and CO2 were observed to be problem vehicle emissions but nitrous oxide was viewed as the biggest one. If you burn a pure hydrocarbon perfectly, the result is CO2 and water. In the imperfect environment of an internal combustion engine, you produce NOx as well.

        Transportation engineers worked with engine designers to create lower compression engines (and associated fuel) and exhaust catalysts. Internal combustion engine NOx was reduced but the CO and CO2 went up a bit. But lower compression engines are less efficient and the environmental consideration switched to CO2 emissions, so why not bump up the compression ratio (and combustion chamber temperature) and fuel efficiency whilst fiddling the NOx results?

        It's a target culture problem. To meet one target, manufacturers cheat on the ones which nobody is monitoring. It is a changing dilemma and there is no quick solution.

        Smart people may be asking why NOx has become a UK problem in recent years: it's how we design our cities. NOx will break down harmlessly in the UK countryside but not in sweaty cities. Where we build narrow streets surrounded by tall buildings, NOx isn't taken away in the breeze. Underground electricity sub-stations and air conditioning units mean that street temperature is artificially high. We don't see smog but humid street air becomes a bit nasty.

        How to fix things? Not a clue, but it won't be fixed by focusing one one aspect of the problems. And we need to be seriously distrustful of efficiency and performance claims.

    3. PNGuinn
      Joke

      Re: Solve this at the source

      " a coal power plant can be fitted with ginormous filters and mechanisms to extract some of the more nasty stuff - "

      In a Toyota Pious?

      Go for it!

  7. Barry Rueger Silver badge

    Prediction

    The Dyson EV will cost twice as much as other EVs, will have the same battery + electric motor as every other EV, and will have four tires and a steering wheel.

    The Dyson marketing machine will flog it as an astounding advance on the "primitive" EVs currently available.

    Dyson is no doubt brilliant, but in marketing chuzpah, not engineering.

    1. caffeine addict Silver badge

      Re: Prediction

      Dyson is Britain's Apple.

      Decent ideas but with a hell of a marketing distortion field that make everything seem unique.

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Prediction

      It will have two huge ball tyres and pivot in the middle to get into hard to reach parking places. And there will be a special version for pet owners.

      1. Spiracle

        Re: Prediction

        It will have two huge ball tyres and pivot in the middle to get into hard to reach parking places. And there will be a special version for pet owners.

        In my mind this is flickering between satire and plausibility like one of those duck/rabbit pictures.

      2. hplasm Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Prediction

        "It will have two huge ball tyres and pivot in the middle to get into hard to reach parking places."

        Now I want one!

  8. werdsmith Silver badge

    He might make his patented digital motor tech improve the EV, he might not.

    But we need more Dysons trying stuff, even if we get one success in 10 failures it will be better than the current way where everything is controlled by spineless bean counters who shit themselves at the thought of any risk or anything that won't return 300% in 12 months.

    1. Cursorkeys

      His 'patented digital motor tech' is just a garden-variety brushless motor dressed up with enough marketing glitter to make Apple blush. Zero-carbon emissions...because it doesn't have carbon brushes. Writing crap like that should physically hurt.

      Pity we can't power the car on the hot air coming out of James Dyson.

      1. Rob D.

        From last year, not last week, when people were already talking about Dyson producing a car and picking over the patents Dyson were filing, noting the comment that to do this well, you'd need both good product engineering and good marketing skills. Anyway, there's still nothing concrete to go on but whether it is Dyson, Tesla, VAG, PSA or some new entrant who cracks this, there's a market and there are plenty of groups investing now while aiming to make money from it in the future.

        https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/11/dysons-electric-car-development-could-become-the-next-tesla

  9. ukgnome

    If Dyson can make it as modular as his vacuum cleaners then he might be able to flog a few of them.

    Of course if he makes them as expensive as his vacuum cleaners then he might not.

    1. spinynorman

      They'll be made of plastic that goes brittle and disintegrates / falls apart after ten years ...

    2. JamesPond

      "Of course if he makes them as expensive as his vacuum cleaners then he might not."

      If I can buy a EV for £300 then count me in.

  10. cbars

    I'd trust the build quality

    Lots of comments on the cost... People said they'd never spend £1000 on a telephone.

    Times change, Dyson has a good reputation in the UK, and after Brexit we'll need to actually build stuff when the banks head to Paris.

    1. Anonymous Blowhard

      Re: I'd trust the build quality

      "after Brexit we'll need to actually build stuff when the banks head to Paris"

      Dyson vacuum cleaners are made in Malaysia, maybe he's got a deal with Proton for manufacturing?

    2. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: I'd trust the build quality

      "Times change, Dyson has a good reputation in the UK"

      I've said before here. Dyson owners will typically say "I love my Dyson, I'm on my third in five years, when they break I buy a new one."

      My grandmother's Electrolux turned 50 a few years ago and is still going strong. That's build quality.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'd trust the build quality

        Dyson owners will typically say "I love my Dyson, I'm on my third in five years, when they break I buy a new one."

        They are clearly not the brightest dyson owners then, cos they should really be getting Dyson to repair or replace their kit in the 5 year guarantee period. Struggling to see how anyone would be stupid enough to buy 3, when actually a pretty good post-sales service is part of the cost of the first one. If you can point me towards one of these 'typical dyson owners', I'd be grateful : I have some magic beans I'm looking to sell.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'd trust the build quality

          There are about 17m of those 'typical dyson owners'. They'll be happy to buy some of your special beans to feed to the unicorn they're expecting to take delivery of soon.

        2. MJI Silver badge

          Re: I'd trust the build quality

          Ours is at least a decade old

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'd trust the build quality

          Hmm, my experience with Dyson after sales was pretty much - 'we're after another sale' - somehow their special repair offer at > the cost of the equivalent Bosch didn't seem like a great deal, even if it was n% off the cost of a new Dyson. The only positive thing is that Dyson's disassemble easily and parts are fairly easy to obtain with reasonable quality non-oem ones, so Dyson missed out on my dosh, and Jeff Bezos is a bit richer.

      2. hplasm Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: I'd trust the build quality

        "My grandmother's Electrolux turned 50 a few years ago and is still going strong. That's build quality."

        Not any more:-

        "Of the 855 fridge-freezer fires recorded by the fire and rescue services, ... Indesit, Bosch, Electrolux,.."

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'd trust the build quality

        In my local town is a man who recycles and resells vaccuum cleaners.

        Now he specialises in just two brands.

        Dyson, because they are so expensive, break all the time, that they are worth and need fixing

        Numatic (Henry) because they are so easy to fix and so tough they go on for years. And parts are easy to get.

        He is now throwing out most of his DCO1 stock (frankly, I've got enough and my customers have already thrown theirs out).

      4. Rob D.

        Re: I'd trust the build quality

        > Dyson owners will typically say "I love my Dyson, I'm on my third in five years, when they break I buy a new one."

        I like (*) my Dyson DC04 - I'm on my only one in seventeen years; on the two occasions when something on it got broken, I DIY-fixed it in a few minutes with replacement bits bought on the local market stall.

        (*) Anyone professing love for their vacuum cleaner should seek professional assistance.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'd trust the build quality

          "Anyone professing love for their vacuum cleaner should seek professional assistance."

          Dunno about that. Something that's cheap, able to be switched off, easily replaceable when you get bored with it, and sucks really hard sounds okay to me.

      5. Steve Foster

        Re: I'd trust the build quality

        I have a 1st generation (possibly 2nd) Dyson DC01 that is still working well. It does look a little battered these days, and one or two bits of the plastic have broken off or split, but as I tend to bash about with it (particularly against/under furniture and tight spots), I'm not really surprised about that.

      6. JamesPond

        Re: I'd trust the build quality

        "My grandmother's Electrolux turned 50 a few years ago and is still going strong. That's build quality."

        But not a good quality for making a profit or pumping money into r&d.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: I'd trust the build quality

      "after Brexit we'll need to actually build stuff when the banks head to Paris."

      Don't look to Dyson for help with that.

    4. Cursorkeys

      Re: I'd trust the build quality

      You're being disingenuous. No-one spends £1000 on a telephone. Some people spend a lot on a portable computer than has 'phone' as one of it's features, quite a big difference.

      The average purchase price for a smartphone is also a fraction of your grand anyway: https://www.statista.com/statistics/510668/smartphone-average-selling-price-worldwide/

  11. Steve Todd

    The UK mostly powered by coal?

    Given the fact that National Grid says coal stations are currently down to 3.8% of total capacity and falling then I think someone needs to update their numbers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The UK mostly powered by coal?

      National Grid says coal stations are currently down to 3.8% of total capacity and falling

      But rather more in terms of reliable baseload or despatchable on request. All those crappy wind turbines and solar subsidy farms add up to big "capacity" numbers, but they have miserable load factors, and generate zilch through the long still winter nights.

      But you're right coal is reducing - gas is making up the balance, but as one of the energy suppliers said this week or last week, if the UK is going to electrify transport, we need one third more gross generating capacity. More problematically, we need to replace at least two thirds of current capacity that will soon be life expired, or technically and economically unsuitable for the higher load factors and different cycling of a system using far more electricity.

      One crappy, wildly overpriced nuclear power station in Somerset isn't going to help much.

      1. Steve Todd

        Re: The UK mostly powered by coal?

        Coal dispatchable on request? Pull the other one! It’s slow to fire up and better suited to base load. Gas, which makes up better than 45% of current capacity and is cheap to build, is much better at handling surges in demand. Coal stations are either closing down or are converting to the likes of biomas because they can’t meet current emissions standards.

        Yes, we need addional capacity if we have a fully electric transport network, but that’s not going to happen anything like overnight and can be planned well in advance. It also will increase demand during what is currently off-peak, so won’t need as much extra as they are implying.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: The UK mostly powered by coal?

          Yes, we need additional capacity if we have a fully electric transport network, but that’s not going to happen anything like overnight and can could be planned well in advance.

          FTFY

          Whether it will be planned well in advance is another matter. The usual HMG response to this has been "Ooh, expensive. Maybe later".

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The UK mostly powered by coal?

          Changing the subject a tiny bit, I was always irritated by Didcot power station, ridiculous on the Berkshire downs. However, I recently drove past the Aire Valley stations in Yorkshire, and they were kinda impressive actually. The 3 of them together were actually a cool sight. If they go, something from the industrial landscape will be lost.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The UK mostly powered by coal?

            "I was always irritated by Didcot power station, ridiculous on the Berkshire downs. "

            I'd hardly call Didcot in Oxordshire, and at the very eastern end of the Vale of Aylesbury as being on the Berkshire Downs! Admittedly its not far, but certainly not on them.

            I would suspect that the location of the power station goes back to the layout of the national grid of the time. Most power stations were built near the deep coal pits that produced their fuel in the 1960s, hence the East Midlands, Yorkshire and South Wales power stations. In the case of Didcot all the coal had to be pulled from South Wales, which was a considerable cost, and I guess that the transmission links between London and Wales had insufficient capacity at that time. The CEGB would have done a detailed NPV assessment between the alternative of building a new station in South Wales and duplicating the transmission links to take the power to London, and then selected an approximate location that happened to be around Didcot, probably because that was already a key switching station on the grid as was. Building even nearer London would have raised the property costs and mixed the coal trains with commuter rail traffic, and I guess that's why it was no nearer to London.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The UK mostly powered by coal?

          Coal dispatchable on request? Pull the other one! It’s slow to fire up and better suited to base load.

          Actually it is VERY slow to fire up, but the point is that other than in heavy maintenance you don't let a coal fired station go cold. Ramp up times aren't as fast as a modern CCGT, but the output of coal can be significantly varied through changing the firing rate, and against reasonably predictable patterns of demand coal stations are a really good generating asset.

          Yes, we need addional capacity if we have a fully electric transport network, but that’s not going to happen anything like overnight

          As an industry insider, I've a good degree of insight on this matter, and the change to EVs is likely to be demand led post 2020, and that changeover will be sudden and dramatic (like the disappearance of CRT displays and TVs). If it weren't for the electricity system constraints, UK car sales would be around 85% EV by around 2030. Post 2020, what sane car maker will spend £5bn developing a new ICE car for European markets? And when the EV volume matches ICE volume, people simply won;'t want the heavily taxed old tech, and suddenly it is in a death spiral of falling economies of scale, low investment, and rising taxes and restrictions as cities rush to ban ICE vehicles (as they've already announced plans to).

          It also will increase demand during what is currently off-peak, so won’t need as much extra as they are implying.

          Wake and smell the coffee, Steve! Look at the end of life dates for the AGR fleet - 9 GW of baseload power going off line by 2030, with a third of that gone by 2024. And about 15 GW, half of the UK CCGT fleet was built in the 1990s "dash for gas", and is coming to the end of its service life - they were only ever designed for 20-25 years use. The remaining coal plant is becoming less and less economic, and policy is to close it by 2025, so that's another 10 GW of mid merit plant to replace. So those need replacing regardless - and we've got sod all reserve capacity in the system, BEFORE we start adding EV loads. So that's needed regardless.

          Now, if the load profile changes to have more off peak demand (which I concur with you that it will), that will require higher peak capacity (unless you can guarantee that nobody will charge their car between 16:00 and 21:00 on a winter evening). And you STILL need to change the asset mix, because the plant that currently runs as peaking plant or festers down at the low-merit end of the curve isn't suitable to run more often - its far too expensive and has high emissions. Personally, I think EDF are (deliberately) being wildly conservative in saying we need 1/3 more generation capacity, because of the issues I've outlined above, and because government policy is also to "decarbonise heat", meaning more use of electric heating systems.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: The UK mostly powered by coal?

            "Post 2020, what sane car maker will spend £5bn developing a new ICE car for European markets?"

            Unless something drastic happens to the range/charge time ration, anyone who wants to sell a car to customers who want to travel more than a few tens of miles at a time.

            And if ICEs are totally banned (including ICE/electric hybrids) then the govt will have finally achieved the goal it's had for years: limiting the freedom of movement that the car brought to the masses.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @ Doctor Syntax

              You only have to look at the progressive increase in battery capacity of the Nissan Leaf to see that the range issue is being addressed. Battery makers know that 140 mile range is crap, so do car makers. In large part that's why established car makers *appear* to have been slow on the uptake. But as chemistry improves, and people work out how to fit more cells into a car body we're seeing that range go up. I'm not sure we'll see such rapid progress on charging speeds, but if you can drive 400+ miles between recharges, then the need for frequent and fast charging should be reduced. If you had to charge your car once every week or ten days, would it matter if that was ten hours of overnight slow charging?

              Car makers know that (if government objectives are achieved) the phase out of ICE vehicles will not be slow and steady - at some point the costs move in favour of an EV, and then the market will rapidly abandon ICE technology other than for selected use cases, such as (genuine) off road vehicles. It'll mean a collapse in second hand ICE car values, and a panic amongst many owners to avoid being left with an expensive asset they can't use. Government policy may be less significant here than local actions, like city air quality zones that result in outright prohibitions or draconian road charging policies for ICE vehicles.

              I'd agree that government actions look like they don't like personal mobility, excepting when its on their slow, crap public transport toys, but I don't think the Tories will actually set a goal of limiting or reducing car ownership. Corbyn, on the other hand would seem quite likely to make this a policy goal, to support his renationalisation of everything programme.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The UK mostly powered by coal?

          Coal is so hard to dispatch that no steam train could ever be built.

          Coal is so hard to dispatch that prior to gas power stations, they used to run heaters the size of a football pitch in the middle of the night to use up the surplus electricity.

          Has the idiocracy arrived already?

          1. Steve Todd

            Re: The UK mostly powered by coal?

            @AC - You need to understand the difference between dispatch and dispatch on request.

            Steam power has been used for centuries, but in that time no-one has solved the problem of the time it takes to build a head of steam (yes, there have been improvements, but it's still far from instant).

            If you know some time in advance that it will be needed then you can prepare for the eventuality. If you need to deliver power on short notice then it is a poor solution. If you need to run the boilers on standby ready for when there is demand then it's a wasteful and inefficient solution.

            Your steam train needed hours of work before it set off in order to prepare for a journey. Your coal based power plant throws away vast amounts of heat (have you never wondered what those large towers are next to one?), and it just dumps more heat when it's not generating power rather than converting it to electricity and then dumping it.

            The idiocracy does indeed seem to have arrived.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The UK mostly powered by coal?

              Your coal based power plant throws away vast amounts of heat

              As do gas turbines. Running in combined cycle operation efficiency is better (c58%, cf c52% for older coal plants) and so waste heat is less from CCGT than from coal, but its still there. Unfortunately, the panicked adoption of renewables has added all manner of intermittent generation to the grid, and requires the CCGT to do far more peaky operation, that earns lower overall income. The heat recovery plant for combined cycle operation then isn't always economic to run, because it is fundamentally a parasitic load that needs long spells of continuous operation to make economic. So quite a few UK CCGT aren't running in combined cycle mode even though they have the plant to do it, and when running in open cycle mode they have similar thermal efficiency to a coal plant, and similar heat losses. That isn't as apparent because the cooling medium is the exhaust gases, and therefore there's no need for huge cooling towers and plumes of water vapour. But its still being wasted.

              If you can re-use the lower grade waste heat from a CCGT for an industrial process, then you can see plant thermal efficiency rising to 75% (eg the Isle of Grain CCGT, when pumping heat to the National Grid LNG terminal). But that's a niche case, requires the gas turbine running long enough to make the combined cycle economic, heat networks are wildly expensive, and use cases for low grade heat are few and far between. Even Grain CCGT isn't able to achieve that 75% very often, because the LNG demands are very intermittent, and may not coincide with times when the CCGT is running for electricity. My boss at that time was an engineering director who had commissioning and asset management accountability for Grain CCGT; I can assure you that there's no way that the plant would have been built if the pre-investment models had accurately predicted the operating environment, load factors, and wholesale prices. Which is why, despite the need for new build plant, there's no big queue of people wanting to build them.

  12. Timmy B Silver badge

    No real point in the UK yet...

    As we are not investing in infrastructure outside of major towns and cities EV charging and use is going to become the next high speed internet. If you go off motorways (where there is a monopoly on providing charging stations and they are more expensive than the equivalent in petrol) and outside big towns there are very few charging points. One of the main petrol stations (shell) is about to put in EV chargers but they are going to cost a lot. What we need is a public network of chargers similar to Norway before this actually makes a difference. And before people complain - I actually drive an EV.

  13. Not also known as SC

    Battery Material Source

    I had a quick look on the internet but couldn't really find an answer. Which countries do we get the lithium and other battery components from? Are we likely to end up in the same position as we are with oil where a limited number of countries control production or is lithium (etc) more evenly distributed across the globe?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Battery Material Source

      Lithium is extracted in Bolivia, amongst other places. It's fairly widespread worldwide, and as demand continues to increase further sites will be developed. It may be the case that someone perfects a scalable way of extracting lithium from seawater, or another battery chemistry is developed.

    2. Andy france

      Re: Battery Material Source

      Unlike oil the lithium needed for cars will be close to 100% recyclable. There are 230 billion tons of lithium dissolved in sea water. Extraction is viable but currently it's cheaper to mine. The sea water reserve caps the price.

    3. Spiracle

      Re: Battery Material Source

      Lithium makes up only about 10-15% of the average lithium polymer battery by weight, and it's pretty much all recycle-able.

  14. Caff

    cyclonic filter

    So he couldn't fit his cyclonic filter to the power plant itself?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: cyclonic filter

      So he couldn't fit his cyclonic filter to the power plant itself?

      Not much point, as the flue gases of any coal station these days go through some very clever electrostatic precipitators. If they used a cyclonic separator you could ultimately make it work, but it'd cost too much to make it work as well as the ESD gear.

  15. Lee D Silver badge

    Like all these kinds of announcements:

    When I can buy it, actually buy it and get it delivered this week, then I'll worry about whether or not to choose yours or the others in the shop.

    Until then, it's just hot air. If I'd laid money down on even 1% of the technologies that would "be available in X years", but then never materialised or were a complete waste of time, then I'd be bankrupt by now.

    Until it's available to purchase, it really doesn't exist from a consumer point of view, and there's no point cooing over what it might/could/will do.

  16. wolfetone Silver badge

    Imagine what the Sinclair C5 could've been if James Dyson was working on it?

    No, you're right. It'd still be shit.

    1. Anonymous Blowhard

      @wolftone

      I was just wondering if this was Dyson's "C5 moment"; Sinclair was the poster child of the UK technology sector until then...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sinclair was the poster child of the UK technology sector until then...

        Only to those who didn’t know him personally or had not worked for him back in the days of rebadged reject transistors, calculators that didnt work and lasted 5 seconds, kits that didn't work, pocket TVs that never worked...etc.

        Random monkeys dictated that a halfway good designer and a certain emerging market and Clive coincided to make a zx80. Still a piece of utter junk, but sufficiently amusing to be bought anyway.

  17. 0laf Silver badge

    TBH I'd be more interested in his cyclonic diesel filter idea. Having to empty a container of soot every so often seems a better idea than having a metal filter flooded with extra diesel and burned at high temperature before clogging up with the remaining ash resulting in a massive repair bill and probably a dumped car after a while.

    IT can be more eco to use what you've got for longer.

    As for Dyson's EV, it seems more likely he'd us his expertise in electric motors to supply improved parts to existing ev manufacturers i.e. Dyson motors in a Tesla car. He might know a lot about motors but I guess he doesn't know as much as the car companies about suspension, economics or just fit and finish.

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      "TBH I'd be more interested in his cyclonic diesel filter idea. Having to empty a container of soot every so often seems a better idea than having a metal filter flooded with extra diesel and burned at high temperature before clogging up with the remaining ash resulting in a massive repair bill and probably a dumped car after a while."

      In this months Car Mechanic's magazine, there's a photo of an engine with a hole through the side of it. The owner had the Seat Ibiza since new and was repeatedly told to do a service on the car. He never did. 7 years later, the engine stops on him while on the motorway. The conrod had blown through the side of the engine, the damage was terminal.

      The DPF in diesels works the way it does because of people like this guy who don't care about the engine or the mechanics of the car, they just keep expecting it to work. People who have issues with DPF brought the wrong car to drive 99% of the time in town/city driving. If you do mixed driving (so you go on the motorway) the DPF won't cause an issue.

  18. gryff
    Holmes

    What about Dyson Bagpipes?

    Never mind the car, when will he finish the Dyson Bagpipes?

    Or the Dyson P*nis Pump? --> Useful for pumping up political interviewees

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: What about Dyson Bagpipes?

      He's busy building his sphere.

  19. Milton Silver badge

    Rev up the hype machine ...

    Rev up the hype machine ...

    ... because it's glued together from bits of gaudy cheap plastic, some it unpleasantly transparent, breaks with surprising frequency and costs twice as much as the German or Japanese made ones—which turn out to be better anyway.

    I sickened of Dyson's marketing drivel and absurd prices when they produced the so-called "fanless fan" and touted it as a wonderful invention. In order to move the same amount of air as a standard fan costing *one-tenth* as much it used a hidden fan and annular vent design—first used in paint factories about a century ago. Still, Dyson is a great testament to the stupidity of modern consumers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Rev up the hype machine ...

      The clear plastic revolutionised vacuum cleaners. Finally the average housewife could see when it was time to empty the vacuum.

      Hence 'my dyson never loses suck like other machines'.

      1. DropBear Silver badge

        Re: Rev up the hype machine ...

        Now that you mention it, I just remembered my 50-years old Russian dust-sucker (very much still in use) actually had a suction/vacuum gauge, presumably for the same purpose. Not that I check it much (or have any idea whether it even still works or not) but hey it's there...

  20. Matthew Smith

    Dyson, the champion of Brexit

    Mr Dyson was a foremost champion for Brexit, so I look forward to all the production being brought back from Malaysia to the new, confident, dynamic, unchained UK.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dyson, the champion of Brexit

      Mr Dyson was a foremost champion for Brexit...

      ....and evidently spoiled the rest of you life?

      Oh dear, how sad. Is that the tune "Hearts & Roses" I can hear being played?

  21. Elmer Phud

    And . . .

    Made in China (having closed UK production).

    Rake in huge profits for 'design' models that do nit work as well as those made here.

    Yup, we have seen the business model.

    Ridding himself of UK workers made him a hero --while office cleaners use Henry's.

    What will be his reward this time?

  22. Chazmon

    Dyson have been quietly hiring battery people since at least 2014. A couple of good battery chemists I know went to work for them on a secret project. I think this may be more than just good mechanical engineering but potentially (sorry for the pun) new style batteries as well.

  23. Wizardofaus

    Who wants a car that costs more than everyone elses' car, but falls apart into a pile of purple plastic after 3 years?

  24. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    Pass the popcorn

    Let's all sit back and watch Dyson bankrupt himself, or at the very least make huge losses on a fool's venture*. As a brexiturd, he deserves it.

    What I'd like to know is why he is being given public money to the tune of £174m towards this, when he is already a multibillionaire. I guess it all comes down to whose palms you grease...

    *Entering a globally highly competitive market with well established multi-national players in an environment where you are about to lose all your global trade deals, ironically due in part to your own lobbying.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: "why he is being given public money..."

      To ensure that any EV Dyson does produce will be faced wth a 220% import tariff into the American market and thus protect the big American EV manufacturers.

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: "why he is being given public money..."

        James Dyson owns more land and property in the UK than the Queen. If he really believed in this project he'd have raised the millions needed by selling off two houses and a farm yard.

        1. James Hughes 1

          Re: "why he is being given public money..."

          He owns lots of farmland which is rented out to tenant farmers. It's not as it the land is sitting there idle.

          1. Duffy Moon

            Re: "why he is being given public money..."

            "He owns lots of farmland which is rented out to tenant farmers. It's not as it the land is sitting there idle."

            Under the set-aside scheme, some of it might well be.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Get your facts right

      What I'd like to know is why he is being given public money to the tune of £174m towards this,

      "Loyal Commenter", you could do a bit of research before spouting crap? If you looked at the press coverage, followed the links to the government's National Infrastructure Plan, you'd have found in twenty seconds that the government grant is £16m. The £174m is the total associated investment, and Dyson will need to find the majority.

      But why the carping even if the government were paying £174m? Are you saying you don't want government to invest in UK technology? That's a tiny, tiny fraction of the amount they waste on misbegotten projects of their own every year, or the typical cost increase on MoD kit. And it pales into insignificance with the £16bn+ that government have signed up for you to pay for smart meters, or the £30bn+ Hinkley Point. Maybe you'd prefer them spending the money on Ethiopian female pop groups and the other really useful stuff in the £13bn foreign aid budget?

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Get your facts right

        @AC

        Well, I did do some research, and had to wade through a number of google results before finding a reference to the actual figures, and am going on the figures referenced here, where it says:

        "The government doc, within the National Infrastructure Delivery Plan, revealed the public funding and said it should be a boost to the area, securing '£174m of investment...creating over 500 jobs’. "

        If this is misleading, then it is this article that is misleading and it certainly wasn't my intention. I always encourage anyone to verify such things for themselves.

        Anyway, my point still stands; James Dyson is a multibillionaire who shuttered his UK manufacturing and moved it to the far East. He can afford to do his own research.

        I'm all for UK government investment in UK technology, and that money would be much better spent by giving it to a genuine research establishment (e.g a university) than to a private business, where it would also help to train the desperately needed next generation of scientists and engineers who will be so badly harmed by brexit, rather than rewarding someone who selfishly lobbied for brexit because it suits his own tax arrangements.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Get your facts right

          James Dyson is a multibillionaire who shuttered his UK manufacturing and moved it to the far East.

          You obviously missed the point that he actually tried to do his manufacturing in the UK in the first place, despite all efforts of government to make this the most costly business location on earth. Would you rather his products were even more expensive?

          I'm all for UK government investment in UK technology, and that money would be much better spent by giving it to a genuine research establishment (e.g a university) than to a private business, where it would also help to train the desperately needed next generation of scientists and engineers

          Again, you appear to have missed all that Dyson has done for UK engineering training. His investment in a UK technology institute to become in effect a complete new school of engineering and science, extensive recruitment for degree and regular apprenticeships. Government waffle and achieve nothing, Dyson's doing stuff, out of his own pocket.

          who will be so badly harmed by brexit, rather than rewarding someone who selfishly lobbied for brexit because it suits his own tax arrangements.

          Oh, god, another remoaner going on-and-fucking-on about Brexit. We had a vote. More people voted than in any previous election, and more people voted leave than for any single referendum or electoral outcome in British history. There will be changes and consequences as a result of Brexit, but the thing is to make the best of it, rather than wringing your hands about what a tragedy it is. I think its quite telling that another privately held company that is globally successful and majors on engineering and UK manufacture (JCB) are also pro-Brexit. The corporate voices clamouring for remain don't appear to have been entrepreneurs, but instead suit wearing corporate accountants, worried that their tax efficient cross border trade arrangements were on the line, or their ability to source cheap labour from Eastern Europe. And channelling all of their on-line sales through tax havens like Luxembourg or Ireland, isn't that because it suits their own tax arrangements - that's different, I take it?

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: Get your facts right

            Oh, god, another remoaner

            And, right there, you invalidated your otherwise cogent argument by turning into an ad-hominem.

            Yes, I think brexit is a bloody idiotic idea. Allegedly living in a free society, I am free to express that, but according to you, (to paraphrase), "we had a vote so shut up". Attempting to silence the arguments as to why that vote was fatally flawed, not binding, and basically based on lies (which Boris is still spouting despite being asked nicely to shut up) exposes the desperation in the brexit camp amongst those how know they have made an error but are yet to face up to it.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Get your facts right

              but according to you, (to paraphrase), "we had a vote so shut up"

              I don't think that's a fair paraphrasing in any way at all. I was making the point that there will have been few decisions in world history with better democratic credentials. Even now, the Remain camp are going "Boris lied! Boris lied! Not fair!", when in fact both fucking sides made up all of their arguments. And the entire weight of government, opposition and establishment was arraigned to support the Remain cause. And despite that, the population gave the EU the bird.

              So, the simple fact is, the people of Britain want to leave the EU. Rather than using the opinions of a hugely successful businessman who was a Brexiteer to berate him, maybe you should leave that out of the equation. Because otherwise the argument here is PURE FUCKING HYPOCRISY.

              1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

                Re: Get your facts right

                I was making the point that there will have been few decisions in world history with better democratic credentials.

                This is simply not true.

                Firstly, the act enabling the referendum explicitly states that it was advisory, and non-binding. On these grounds it was written that the vote didn't require any sort of super-majority, as any democracy would normally expect of a decision of this nature. It also excluded a significant portion of the electorate (British nationals living abroad for more than a certain number of years) on the same grounds, which significantly skewed the result.

                Secondly, it asked a simple question - 'leave' or 'remain', without properly defining what 'leave' means. This allowed leave campaigners to claim it meant anything from de-facto continued membership of all the institutions of the EU at a reduced cost, to complete isolationism, depending on the audience to whom they were speaking.

                This was exacerbated by the piss-poor remain campaign which was coordinated through the Tory government, thus stifling any campaigning from groups who did not wish to be politicised (such as groups representing scientists and other professionals), as well as the governments political opponents - you can't seriously think that the Labour party, for instance, would want to position itself so that it appears to be supporting a Tory government.

                These things combined have allowed our government to follow a very specific interpretation of the vote and claim overwhelming public support for their position, where in reality none exists.

                Recent polls have shown that, despite all the lies they were fed by the well organised and very well funded anti-EU campaigning groups (funded, might I add, by people with very vested interests such as those with money in off-shore tax havens, or those who stand to benefit from reduced workers' rights, tenants' rights, or health and safety laws), the majority of the UK population now supports remaining in the EU. This despite the daily drip-feed of propaganda from the likes of the Daily Mail, the Sun, et al (again owned by media barons who have pretty obvious ulterior motives).

                Being allowed to change your mind is pretty much the essence of democracy. Claiming that a decision made a single point in time, based on flawed evidence is the paragon of democracy, is, I'm afraid, not.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Get your facts right

                  Recent polls have shown that, despite all the lies they were fed by the well organised and very well funded anti-EU campaigning groups

                  Well funded? Well organised? That's some of the finest revisionist history I've ever seen made up on the spot..

                  The Remain campaign had the entire official weight of all political parties present in Parliament (check the numbers, they're readily available on the web still). It had the full weight of the Establishment, specifically government (as distinct from the political party), the Civil Service, the BBC, the EU itself, the trade union movement, a whole litany of major companies and their bosses (BAES, Vodafone, BT, M&S, Centrica, BP, Easyjet, and others). Even the bearded tax exile, hiding in his wine cellar in the British Virgin Isles was telling the people of the UK to vote Remain. In the very large company I worked at, the CEO of the €90bn turnover foreign parent company flew over and addressed all UK employees and asked them to "make the right decision". The "Leave" campaign was led by that buffoon Bozzer (who was widely reported to be privately a Remainer, but opportunistically taking on the Leave campaign to further his ambitions).

                  And in terms of UK spending (so not including EU activities) the Electoral Commission concluded that the Remain campaign spent £16.2m, against the Leave campaign's £11.5m. So there was 40% more spent by the Remain campaign - not including the £10m of government spending on the Remain leaflet sent to every household. As for your utterly fucking nonsensical idea that because the Tory government were "leading" the Remain campaign, the Labour party couldn't possibly support that position, and somehow that is "unfair" and favoured the Leave campaign - what are you on? Incidentally, the Labour party was the second largest donor to the Remain campaign, but in your bitterness you might have forgotten that.

                  So in one respect you are right: It wasn't a fair fight, and that could be seen as undemocratic. But that unfairness was the desire of all those political and corporate bodies, all those 1%ers trying their bloody hardest to impose their view on the British public.

                  1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

                    Re: Get your facts right

                    Well funded? Well organised? That's some of the finest revisionist history I've ever seen made up on the spot..

                    Well funded? Well for starters, Arron Banks alone gave £6m to Leave.EU Of course, Leave.EU wasn't the official leave campaign, so I'm pretty sure the amount they spent won;t show up in your official figures. Ditto the other campaigning groups, and solid media support from the Mail, Telegraph, Sun, etc. etc. all owned by strong leave supporters.

                    Well organised? Well there was this political party formed with a single purpose - what was its name again? Oh Yes, UKIP. And as for talking about historical revisionism, you only have to look at the crud spouted by some of its proponents.

                    Also, I didn't claim that the remain campaign didn't have all the major political parties backing it. The problem was that it was run through government. In practise, this meant that any 'official' remain campaigning had to be done through them. The government campaign dictated the message that campaigners should be imparting, which was the rather uninspiring (although accurate) economic message. Those who wanted to get publicity for their own message (such as those in the scientific community who will lose not only funding but the international cooperation that makes the UK a great place to do science), didn't have the opportunity, funding, or platform to communicate their message.

                    The leave campaigning was quite different, as it was disparate and well targeted. The people doing this campaigning have had several decades to perfect the art, whereas those groups in support of the EU had to organise from scratch - after all you don't have established campaigning groups in place to support the status quo, which is why you won't find such groups to support thinks like votes for women or the abolition of capital punishment, whilst you do sometimes find public proponents of the opposite. And yes, I am equating the anti-EU campaigning groups with regressive political ideologies; leaving the EU is regressive.

                    Before the referendum, membership of the EU didn't figure very highly in most people's minds. There was a small nationalist Conservative-party breakaway group that wanted out of the EU, backed by a handful of rich interested parties. They had the organisation and money to get their opinions heard, skewing public opinion. On the day of the vote, most people won't have had much more knowledge of the issues than those shouted at them in the press, and were asked to vote on what was essentially a popularity contest. The whole concept of a vote (a sop to the right-wing part of the Tory party in an attempt to hold it together) was a fools errand.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Get your facts right

          "@AC Well, I did do some research, "

          But not much, and it was really too hard. You're not Student Grant out of Viz, by any chance?

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Pass the popcorn

      "Entering a globally highly competitive market with well established multi-national players in an environment where you are about to lose all your global trade deals, ironically due in part to your own lobbying."

      He off-shored production some time ago. He doesn't need UK-global trade deals except for those which make imports from his factories cheaper. Brexit increases costs for such manufacturers who remain in the UK. Are you surprised he lobbied for Brexit?

  25. MJI Silver badge

    I can already see the styling.

    Colour scheme of grey and purple. Rear wheels are large and grey, front wheels hidden under the body work, large transparent passenger compartment with curved front.

    Roof is purple.

    See DC08

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: I can already see the styling.

      But the exhaust pipe can stretch all the way to the top of the stairs.

    2. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: I can already see the styling.

      And you have to press 14 hooks, buttons, levers and releases in the right order to open the bonnet.

      1. JamesPond

        Re: I can already see the styling.

        but only one hair-trigger button to empty the innards all over the floor.

  26. Haku

    Wait, what?

    Dyson are going to build something with an electric motor that doesn't produce noise on a decibel level close to that of a jet airliner from a few meters away?

    Naaah, I'll believe it when I (don't) hear it!

    1. Hairy Spod

      Re: Wait, what?

      at least that solves the other unbased gripe people have about electric cars... being too quiet and knocking down every third pedestrian that they encounter

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    2bn eh

    VAG's R&D budget is about 13bn and employs upwards of 48,000 employees...

    Sure, they will be developing some petrol cars with that, but guess what they are focusing on right now...

    What's more, once they have the magic solution, they have vast manufacturing capability to deliver it.

  28. Patrician

    I am amazed at how much negitivity there is to Dyson, his vacuums and other products; I'm just curious as to why, unless it's remainers just reacting to his brexit outlook?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well my personal negativity is partly based on a feeling that his products are clever, quite well engineered but seriously over priced. He is a businessman/technician who has worked out a successful formula for persuading people to pay 10 x the price for something marginally better than its competition. That in itself is not a 'bad' thing - but it's more akin to the genius of Gucci and Armani than the genius of Gugliemo Marconi or Henry Ford. Couple that with his 'I'm all for Brexit' because British, while manufacturing in Malaysia.

      In his favour - he believes in R&D, and he appears to recognise the social benefit in taxation. Good luck to him with his electrical car.

    2. itzman

      re: I'm just curious as to why

      Because we are engineers who have had them apart to fix after our wives bought the bloody things?

      Because we discovered that a Henry at half the price works twice as well?

      And has less parts to go wrong?

      There are products that sell to people who dont understand technology, and products that sell to peole who do.

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: re: I'm just curious as to why

        I've got a couple of Dysons and a Henry.

        The Henry is shit at actually sucking stuff up compared with the Dysons. The Dysons (one handheld, one upright) are fairly robust. The upright has a broken bit of plastic, but is over 5yrs old and still works fine. One day I'll get round to fixing it. The handheld is great, cost about £80 IIRC, so maybe twice the cost of a really cheap nasty, but well made and very effective.

        I have no issues with Dyson's.

        1. Wupspups

          Re: re: I'm just curious as to why

          Dont know where you got the 80 quid for a Dyson handheld more like 130 for bottom end model and a rip off 400 smackers for the top end.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: re: I'm just curious as to why

            and a rip off 400 smackers for the top end

            A third of the price of certain mobile phones....

            1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

              Re: re: I'm just curious as to why

              A third of the price of certain mobile phones....

              Even though the manufacturer of the certain mobile phone I reckon you are referring to is also a rip-off merchant, you can't argue that something that is basically a plastic shell with a motor and some control electronics in it is even 1% as complicated as a mobile phone, let alone the 40% you would seem to suggest if we are trying to justify the price on these grounds.

              If you think this is the case, I would encourage you to take apart a smartphone and reassemble it (in a working condition), in the same way that you can with a vacuum cleaner. Even replacing the screen on most devices requires specialist tools, or a great deal of care in not damaging the tiny little edge connectors with fingers that are larger than the components they are manipulating.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: re: I'm just curious as to why

                If you think this is the case, I would encourage you to take apart a smartphone and reassemble it (in a working condition),

                As the offending AC, I have done just that to replace a cracked screen (and the underlying digitiser). Took a certain amount of care, but no particular skill. Anyone manipulating miniature connectors with their porkies, instead of suitable forceps or tweezers, would deserve all the inconvenience that they might encounter. Now, if you believe that a spudger and a set of precision screwdrivers are "specialist tools", then I conclude you must be an arts graduate. The sort of person that doesn't own an SDS drill, or a circular saw, either.

                Begone foul beast, Go back whence you came!

                1. PNGuinn
                  Trollface

                  The sort of person that doesn't own an SDS drill, or a circular saw, either.

                  You mean you can mend an ithingi without using an angle grinder, a lump hammer and a blowlamp?

                  You'll go far, ac.

                2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

                  Re: re: I'm just curious as to why

                  Now, if you believe that a spudger and a set of precision screwdrivers are "specialist tools", then I conclude you must be an arts graduate.

                  For the record, both of my degrees are in chemistry, but that was now a number of years ago.

                  I, too, have in the past taken apart and reassembled a smartphone, and can attest that it takes a great deal of care, especially in ensuring that the parts are all in the correct places when reassembling the case. Of course, different manufacturer's phones will all be different, and YMMV. What I can attest to is that they tend to make very good use of the space inside the case, and tend to contain a fair numbers of delicate electronic parts. You need to have a good clean environment to work in with plenty of space, and ideally, diagrams of how things should fit back together, where clips and fasteners are, etc.

                  A vacuum cleaner, on the other hand, you can take apart and put back together in a couple of minutes on your kitchen floor and be fairly confident in not fucking it up. Even with a management degree.

      2. Rob D.

        Re: re: I'm just curious as to why

        I'm an engineering type and have had our Dyson apart very easily, put back together very easily (OK the clutch band is a devil without the bent metal gizmo), and it just doesn't break other than normal wear and tear (17 years and two fixes; a worn hose, and replacing the carbon brushes). Really, the DC04 we have is incredibly reliable, works superbly even at a ripe old age, and needs half a brain plus a screwdriver to strip down to component parts.

        Ruling out folks clinging to a preferred world view, the disparity in the experiences being described here must have alternative explanations. Manufacturing changed over time? Different design ethos and commercial factors? Particular models/things from Dyson prone to problems?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can see Dyson having lots of fun trying to find the available engineers. Jaguar-Land Rover has been busy sucking up automotive 'talent' in the UK for the last few years.

    I wonder if he will try to do the whole project in-house or try to utilise the existing automotive supply chain. Hopefully, the latter.

    Modern cars are not just power-trains (although that's a big part). User's expect toy's like entertainment systems, comfy seats, controls, parking aids, etc. If Dyson wants to play at the top of the market then he needs all those toys. That complexity isn't cheap to develop from scratch.

    The whole vehicle has to be tested to meet all the regulations. Depending on which countries you want to sell it in, there may be multiple regulations to meet (for instance devices containing a Bluetooth radio have individual approvals for each country).

    Some of those regulations he will have come across with his other products, but there are new ones also.

    Personally I think his timing is optimistic.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I can see Dyson having lots of fun trying to find the available engineers. Jaguar-Land Rover has been busy sucking up automotive 'talent' in the UK for the last few years.

      You're right, but (even as somebody local to, and with a lot of respect for the company) JLR do not pay very well, IMHO, unless you put quite a high value on the company car scheme. Have a look at posted vacancies on Indeed to form your own view.

  30. PNGuinn
    Trollface

    Dyson the company has also developed new hair dryers

    Bbbbut - do they suck?

    Enquiring minds etc ...

  31. Jason Hindle

    Will it come with a mast?

    So the taller vehicles behind you can see your car?

  32. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  33. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    See-through

    Dyson car made of interlocking injection molded polycarbonate components will look amazing but the squeaks on a bumpy road will be deafening.

    I wonder what attachments will be available.

  34. bobbear

    Hype free zone

    One thing's for sure - I won't believe any of his marketing hype...

  35. Nimby
    Pint

    Hate to beat a dead unicorn, but...

    (Who are we kidding? I'd love to beat a dead unicorn!)

    For some reason I keep imagining that the Dyson EV will look like the Chryslus Cherry Bomb.

    On a more serious note, the only thing that I can think of where a new player could truly innovate would either be to:

    A) Give us a decent frikken "battery". (Caps are a-okay too.) Tesla, WTF? You were supposed to make this happen and at an economy of scale. THAT never happened. Maybe Dyson can do what you couldn't.

    B) Give us a novel idea of what a car could be, instead of what cars are. Such as what could be done with 4 independent wheel-hub motors, without any steering rotation on the front. (Or something else equally weird.) EVs don't have to play by the same mechanical rules ... but they ALL do anyway. Why?

    Otherwise, in my opinion, Dyson's Folly will be just another me-too unicorn on wheels for people too lazy to pedal a bike around.

  36. Mike Scott 1

    £2Bn won't even touch the sides of making a credible vehicle, or anything much beyond a C5. I appreciate his ambition, but would have thought he would be better OEM'ing his motor and barrery technology to companies that know how to build cars.

  37. Stu Mac

    the many deaths that can be linked to car emissions' effects on air quality.

    “In 1988 I read a paper by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, linking the exhaust from diesel engines to premature death in laboratory mice and rats,”

    and the quality of this science and the data on actual deaths is how good?

  38. 2Fat2Bald

    There is a kinda patchy history with Vacuum companies making electrical cars for eccentric British inventors........................

  39. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Coal power

    Many people don't know that it takes about 7.46kWh of electricity to refine one US gallon of petrol according to a study done at the Argonne National Laboratory. This means that liquid fueled cars are powered by coal too. The difference is that as grid power becomes cleaner, so does the EV. Companies such as Ecotricity are installing charging stations and putting wind power on the grid to match so using their service can be considered fossil fuel free power.

    I had already read an article that stated the 400 engineers that Dyson claims are working on the project were involved with battery technology. Vertical integration isn't always a good thing and what happens is Dyson might not only be competing with EV manufacturers, but battery (cell) manufacturers as well. They could be better off minimizing battery work and spend more effort on getting a vehicle to market. Meeting safety certifications in multiple countries is a big hurdle to clear. They will also do better if they get to testing sub-systems on a longer term basis unlike Tesla that didn't spend much time vigorously testing their Model 3 before declaring a production candidate and going full steam into production. Most traditional manufacturers spend around 18 months beta testing hand built versions to work out emergent problems when they are coming out with a new model. This is in addition to stuffing new power trains into "mule" cars. Mules are often another car body from the manufacturer that is used to disguise that they are working on a new model.

  40. TrumpSlurp the Troll
    Windows

    Death of the diesel?

    Electric town cars seem an excellent idea, especially if they have a very small footprint to make better use of the available space. In the specialised environment there are also major pollution benefits. Electric only within city limits could be a very good thing. A bit like the concept of pedestrian precincts. If they are limited to, say, 20 mph this reduces the need for heavy crash protection designed for much higher speed/energy impacts.

    However the distribution of goods is still broadly reliant on diesel, from huge lorries down to the white van man.

    So getting a 400 mile range on your lightweight electric car isn't going to solve the issue of 3.5 tonne vans distributing your Amazon purchases from central hubs.

    In other news electrification of the railways has been cut back because the government has decided that it is costing too much. So the train companies have to buy diesel engines.

    I don't think much heavy agricultural machinery is going electric either.

    The car is only one aspect of motor transport.

  41. athame

    Make a difference

    James if you really want to make a difference - invest your 2 billion in Tesla. I've already put my Model 3

    deposit down and I can't see your market intervention as more than than a wasteful vanity project. Having junked a couple of your previous "breakthroughs" I'm reasonably confident that this will be an overpriced suck job too.

    PS who will supply your batteries? :-)

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019