DYSON, the British vacuum manufacturer and engineering firm, has confirmed the next stage of its plans to become a major player in the electric car market: the creation of a brand new test track in the UK.
The new facilities at the former RAF Hullavington airfield will be the research and development hub for Dyson’s electric vehicle programme – should the planning permission application be approved by Wiltshire Council.
Assuming the project will be given the go-ahead, Dyson intends to invest £550m in the site, to complement the £86m that’s already been spent on refurbishing two WWII-era aircraft hangars.
Three additional buildings will be restored as part of the redevelopment programme.
The main focal point of the facility transformation will be 10 miles of paved and off-road track. A skid pan is also planned, and one of the old runways will be used for 100mph+ high speed tests.
Jim Rowan, Dyson’s CEO, said the development will bring jobs to the area: “Our growing automotive team is now working from Dyson’s state-of-the-art hangars at Hullavington Airfield. It will quickly become a world-class vehicle testing campus.”
Though the facilities will be used to develop the upcoming Dyson electric cars, the factory that will produce these vehicles will not be based at Hullavington. According to the Financial Times, a location for the assembly plant will be finalised by Dyson within the next few months.
Details on Dyson’s electric car range are scarce at the moment, though prior reports have suggested the line-up will consist of three models. The first of these (which is tipped to be a a car with niche appeal) is expected to be brought to market by 2021.