Dyson electric car: patent drawings give first glimpse of design

Seven-seat crossover layout revealed in newly released diagrams of Dyson electric car

Dyson electric car

A set of patent drawings for the forthcoming Dyson electric car have given the first clue as to what the British technology firm's first vehicle will look like.

The side and front profile diagrams indicate a seven-seat crossover-style vehicle with large wheels. Having been filed 18 months ago, the drawings have now been approved and published by the patent office.

An email sent to staff by company founder James Dyson, which has been seen by our sister title Auto Express, reads: "The patents certainly don’t reveal what our vehicle will really look like but they provide a glimpse of some of the inventive steps that we are considering.

"They suggest some of the ways in which this vehicle could differ from the status quo and depict a vehicle which has been developed, from the bottom up, with range and efficiency in mind from the outset."

Dyson electric car design

The drawings indicate space left for batteries below the interior, combined with a fairly reclined seating positions, plus a reasonably low roofline and centre of gravity to give the profile of a coupe-SUV.

Documents accompanying the drawings state: “The ground clearance of the vehicle in the illustrated embodiment is about 300mm, which is comparatively high as compared to saloon or sedan-like vehicles, although the front row of passengers are supported within the vehicle in a more low-down, sedan-like seating position”.

A long wheelbase of around 3.2-3.3 metres as indicated in the patent documents should help with ride quality, as well as leaving plenty of space for batteries to ensure a long driving range.
Other dimensions mentioned in the documents include a height of between 1.6 and 1.8 metres, and an overall length of between 4.7 and 5.1 metres.

For comparison, that's approximately the same height and length as a Range Rover Sport PHEV, but with even more ground clearance.

Also of note are the illustrated car's large but narrow wheels, indicated as 24 inches in diameter. According to Dyson, this will help to avoid aquaplaning, give better grip in snowy conditions and reduce aerodynamic drag.

In his message to staff, James Dyson said: "The patents show a car with very large wheels, giving a low rolling resistance and high ground clearance. This makes a vehicle suited to city life and rough terrain, but could also contribute to increased range and efficiency."

However, Dyson also noted that: "It is important to keep this in perspective and remember that we do not always use patents or make products based on patents that we have filed.”

Dyson electric car battery

There's still no confirmation on what battery type the Dyson electric car will use. Previously it has been reported that next-generation solid-state technologies were under consideration, but it's not clear that these would be ready in time for the car's anticipated launch date of 2021.

Earlier this year, it was confirmed that the Dyson electric car project would be led by former head of BMW and Infiniti, Roland Krueger.

Krueger, who was previously president of Infiniti and senior vice-president of its parent company Nissan, is working out of Dyson’s factory in Singapore.

At the time, Dyson CEO Jim Rowan said he thought that Krueger would be an “excellent fit” for the company. “Roland is experienced globally,” said Rowan. “He has knowledge of China, which is a key EV market, and he’s a designer by background but also understands commercial aspects.

“He’s a disruptor. And based on his leadership, and the head of steam that we’ve already built up, we expect to go in and disrupt the car industry like we’ve done in other areas.”

Hundreds of people are working on the project, most based at Dyson’s facility in Hullavington, Wiltshire. As much as £775 million is expected to be invested in the car this year alone, although that figure will be spent globally and not exclusively in the UK.