Dyson creates 300 new electric car jobs

Sir James DysonImage source, Heathcliff O'Malley
Image caption,
Sir James Dyson accused the mainstream car industry of polluting the world with diesel emissions

Dyson is seeking an extra 300 engineers in a push to build its first electric car by 2020.

Best known for its vacuum cleaners and hand dryers, the firm caused a stir when it announced plans for a battery powered vehicle.

Dyson already has a 400-strong team working on the project and has doubled the number of scientists working on its battery programmes over the past year.

The jobs news came as it revealed 2017 underlying earnings rose 27% to £801m.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Dyson is better known for its vacuum cleaners than its cars

Dyson said the electric car team - which up until now has been based in its Malmesbury headquarters in the Cotswolds - would shortly move to its new research and development base in Hullavington in Wiltshire.

The privately-owned firm is yet to decide where its electric cars - once they have been designed - will be manufactured.

The UK is reported to be in contention for the work, along with Singapore, Malaysia and China.

'Asia enthusiasm'

High demand in Asia was the biggest drivers of last year's performance, with Japan, China, Taiwan and Korea together accounting for almost three quarters of 2017 sales.

Media caption,

The skills shortage pushing Dyson to Asia

Billionaire founder James Dyson said people in Asia had "an extraordinary enthusiasm for technology that works".

Sir James also said the firm had "moved on" from its dispute with former Dyson chief executive Max Conze over the alleged disclosure of confidential information.

The allegations were vehemently denied by Mr Conze, and Dyson settled out of court in December.

Mr Conze worked for the company for six years before being replaced in October by chief operating officer Jim Rowan.