YES HE CAN !
Can Sir James Dyson, inventor and innovative maker of Dyson vacuum-cleaners and other domestic appliances, design, test and manufacture an electric car by 2020, with a budget of just £2.5 billion ?
With a 50 person team of engineers, in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, UK - we once built a hybrid-electric-car prototype in 1980 called Microdot. Inspired by TESLA, I wrote about it in August 2017:
I guess, or advise, that Dyson will make the battery-holder the chassis for the car - essentially a battery with wheels. My advice, if he wants it, is to fit an electric motor on each wheel-axle and dispense with gears, drive trains and other weighty components. Design a Minimum-Weight-Vehicle MWV, to achieve maximum range and speeds. Electric axle motors can also act as brakes - and go into reverse.
Avoid the madness of Self-Driving cars - they double vehicle-movements and will go the way of 1960s Flying Cars. And avoid the bicycle-shed approach of Sir Clive Sinclair's electric-C5 "car"; which was actually a 3 wheeled soap-box for suicidal English eccentrics.
I guess the Dyson battery when it runs down, will be swapped, swapped in a few minutes for a full one - with a 350 miles range. Or it will be recharged while plugged at home or at work.
Sceptics think he cannot get a new car through the UK regulatory hurdles or set up UK manufacturing. He doesn't need to; he only needs a partner who can do it. Perhaps a Chinese manufacturer, such as the company that bought British MG cars after it collapsed. Or TATA Motors of India that owns Jaguar-Landrover. As for the Brexit barrier shutting us out of Europe, Dyson can form a European company in, say, Germany or Italy - both highly successful vehicle mass-producers, traders and exporters. The UK's Brexit deal with the EU will take 20 years. Dyson can't wait that long.
If the Brexiting UK, stupidly walking away from 50% of its best customers, still doesn't want a British Electric Vehicle (HM Government rubbished and sabotaged our Microdot in 1980), Dyson can do it all from China or India - and import them to the fading, retired, old, sad, geriatric, opting-out, Can't-Do, can't think, read or write, UK. Dyson might that way, via India or China, avoid Trump's 220% tariff on Made-in-Britain imports to the USA (e.g. Bombardier). This can be done quickly; the electric technology has worked since about 1890. He will need a hardened, non-hackable, well programmed computer on board - Samsung perhaps?
What does require big-investment and great innovation is the refuelling network. Why not do a deal with TESLA's Elon Musk who is installing re-chargers across America and Europe. If not, there are many electric power companies who want to get in on the EV (electric vehicle) industry - and plenty of established gas, petrol and diesel stations that want to add electric re-chargers to their forecourts. Even Big-Oil and Dirty-Coal are rushing to join the bright new future.
All airports will be kitted out with batteries and chargers to power the Electric-Planes that will soon replace oil-fired jet engines.
The future is electric. Sir James Dyson will build EVs. Maybe the British Government will wrench its attention away from our doomed Brexit negotiations for a few minutes and will support him - and issue all the necessary licences in double-quick time, so that the industry will be based here in the UK. Unlikely - but we can hope.
"For example, the UK’s best-selling electric, the Nissan Leaf, is £16,680 with the battery on lease for a monthly fee, rising to £21,680 if you buy the battery outright.
Electricity is certainly cheaper than petrol or diesel. Travelling 100 miles in an electric car will cost £3-£4 depending on energy tariffs, compared with £15 in a petrol car.
Affordability is a key issue. When Volvo announced all its new car launches would by electric or hybrid from 2019, it stressed that they would be premium models, ie expensive.
Jack Cousens of the AA said: “Buying a car is an important financial decision, and families on low incomes will need government assistance and incentives to make the change to electric vehicles.” (Editor - utter rubbish)