Dyson to build electric cars in Singapore

Dyson, the UK-based company associated with vacuum cleaners, has picked Singapore to build its first electric car.

Building work is due to start at the site this year with the first car due to appear in 2021.

Dyson last year laid out plans to translate its electric-motor technology from vacuum cleaners and hand dryers into zero-emission cars.

One of Dyson’s bosses, Ian Robertson, is the former sales chief of BMW who successfully launched the i3 and i8 electric cars.

The innovative firm said the decision to pick Singapore was influenced by the availability of engineering talent, supply chains and the proximity to some key markets, particularly China.

Singapore’s corporation tax starts at 8.5 per cent, rising to 17 per cent and it has zero tax on capital gains and dividends. It is openly pro-business with a stable currency that tracks the US dollar and loans, incentives, exemptions and funds for training for foreign investors.

Singapore has some of the highest average salaries in the world and is one of the world’s most expensive places to trade, with eye-watering property costs.

Almost 40 years ago Ford closed its factory in Singapore, effectively ending car production on the island.

But Dyson took its vacuum cleaner assembly to the city-state 15 years ago.

The firm has said it will invest about US$2.6 billion in the project, including US$260 million to be spent in the UK on research, development and test driving; much of which has already been spent.

Dyson already has 1,100 staff in Singapore, 1,300 in Malaysia, 800 in the Philippines and 1,000 in China.

The firm famous for ditching the vacuum cleaner bag is yet to reveal what batteries its cars will use or where they will be manufactured.

Recently, Dyson wrote off US$60 million of its investment in US solid-state battery development startup Sakti3, which it bought in 2015 for US$75 million.

Analysts say solid-state batteries could potentially charge faster and run longer but are still in an experimental phase. Dyson works with both solid-state and conventional lithium-ion batteries.

Founder Sir James Dyson is pro-Brexit and claims, in defiance of all apparent logic, that the UK leaving the EU with no deal would “make no difference”.

The company claimed the decision to move out of the UK had nothing to do with Brexit. It does not currently manufacture any of products in Britain but the company has reportedly tripled its UK employees to 4,800 in the last five years.

Singapore offers dynamism to Dyson, which is following in the steps of Tesla by trying to start an electric car company from scratch. Picture credit: PXHere