Electric Cars

Dyson EV patent drawings hide clever engineering behind familiar forms

Its shape doesn't seem all that different from many modern crossovers.

Dyson

The man who makes high-art vacuums might one day make your electric car. Dyson's upcoming electric vehicle is hotly anticipated, yet we haven't heard much from the company about what to expect. That changes with a new set of patent drawings.

Dyson's patent drawings for its future EV have been published, and while the company is ordinarily known for some revolutionary designs, its car seems almost too traditional by comparison. It mimics a traditional crossover shape, with a long, flat roof, enough interior space for three rows of seats and an overall design that, while efficient, still looks like a car at the end of the day.

Of course, what we see is only part of the story, according to an email from company founder James Dyson to his employees regarding the published drawings. "The patents certainly don't reveal what our vehicle will really look like or give any specifics around what it will do," Dyson's email reads. "Rather they show an androgynous vehicle and provide a glimpse of some of the inventive steps that we are considering."

By positioning the seats as low as possible, there can be some semblance of ride height without tall glass eating into the drag coefficient.

Dyson

There are some interesting touches in there, though. The wheels, for example, seem awfully large for an EV. As the patent notes, while large wheels are traditionally seen as range-sucking chunks of mass, Dyson believes they can confer benefits. "The engineers observed that the decrease in the rolling resistance that is achieved at this wheel size can offset the increase in inertia such that a net gain in the driving range may be achieved," the patent reads, which is some interesting and unconventional thinking.

The wheels and the general shape of the vehicle are both aimed at reducing aerodynamic drag. Usually, that would require the vehicle to be as low to the ground as possible, but Dyson's engineers believe the car can maintain SUV-like ride height without any negative effect on the drag coefficient. Paired with a raked windshield and a low roofline, and the car is surprisingly sleek for something that's about the size of a Range Rover.

If there's one thing we have no idea about, though, it's the powertrain. The patent drawings don't make any motive-force intimations, but we do know that Dyson is leaning on its strengths and designing its own electric motors for the vehicle. According to Autocar's report, Dyson hinted that multiple motors might be on offer to expand on the benefits of brake regeneration. The company is also working on solid-state battery technology that it wants to include in the car. With a debut slated for 2021, it shouldn't be too much longer before Dyson throws out more details of what to expect.