An update to Dyson’s planned venture into car manufacturing, where the company announced last year it would be introducing three purely electric cars, with the first due by 2020. According to the Financial Times, Dyson’s first car will show the company how to make a vehicle and establish relationships with suppliers, while the second and third cars will enter the market with higher production volumes to further establish the brand among mass-market competition.

Dyson will inject £2 billion (RM10.9 billion) in funds to develop its first EV car, and the project has received support from the British government. A team of 400 people is working on the project at Dyson’s Wiltshire headquarters.

However, specific details such as performance and range remain a company secret, but the first model won’t be a mass-market car like the Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf. Instead, it will be aimed at a more tech-oriented market, with a production run of under 10,000 units.

Founder Sir James Dyson also confirmed that the car will carry a premium price tag, but went on to say that it won’t be a sports car. Another source added that the company chose not to use solid-state batteries for its first model as previously planned, instead saving the technology for the second and third models.

Apparently, Dyson’s solid-state battery executive, Ann Marie Sastry, left the company late last year, but it’s unclear if the two decisions are linked. A spokesman told Autocar that “Ann Marie Sastry is no longer with Dyson” but refrained from explaining why, and added that the company doesn’t “get into specifics on personnel matters.”

Sastry joined Dyson when it purchased her battery company, Sakti3, for £67.4 million (RM350 million) three years ago. During her tenure, Sastry said the company was close to bringing solid-state batteries to production. If so, the feat could give Dyson an advantage in the global race for more energy efficient EVs.

Solid-state batteries are known to have a higher energy density and are quicker to charge than liquid cells. Its operating temperature is also cooler and is potentially more powerful as well. Toyota is the only car manufacturer with firm plans to introduce the battery technology in the coming decade.

Carmakers such as Porsche has already hinted that it will use solid-state batteries in its future EVs, whereas BMW recently partnered up with US-based company Solid Power in its effort to adopt the technology.