Dyson to pump £1bn into developing better batteries

March 22, 2016 // By Paul Buckley
Dyson, the UK-based pioneer of vacuum cleaner technology, is planning to become a key player in the battery business, if not on the manufacturing side, at least on the IP front.

“We have invested £100 million looking at batteries in the past five years and are now stepping up that work and will spend £1bn by 2020. Solving energy density is the greatest engineering challenge in the 21st century.” said Dyson's chief executive Max Conze.

“Batteries that give two times the energy density and storage would be great for mobility of the future”.

In 2014, Dyson took a stake in US group Sakti3 which is developing batteries that are lighter and more powerful than best currently available.

In 2015 Dyson acquired Satki3, a U.S. developer of solid-state lithium-ion batteries, for $90m. Dyson Ltd. had previously invested $15 million in the Michigan battery pioneer which has discovered a way to produce batteries with twice the energy storage potential of standard lithium-ion models, at a half to a third of the cost.

Dyson’s focus on battery technologies also received a boost from the UK Government’s 2016 budget, announced last week. As part of the package, the UK government awarded Dyson a £16m grant to undertake research on longer-lasting batteries. The grant came from a regional development fund.

Conze pointed out that Dyson, which was founded by entrepreneur Sir James Dyson, had more than 50 active research projects in areas including aerodynamics, thermodynamics, sensors, robotics and artificial intelligence.

Dyson's financial performance for 2015 has seen revenues rise 26 percent to £1.7bn with earnings being 19 percent higher at £448m. 

Related articles and links:

www.dyson.co.uk

News articles:

Can Dyson clean up in the battery sector?

Has Google entered the battle for next-generation batteries?

Patents drive innovation