Sunday, 22 June 2008

Dyson working on new generation of fast, green cars

Britain's most famous inventor, Sir James Dyson, is working on a project that could lead to the creation of a fast, green car.

Engineers at his research laboratory in Wiltshire are developing a powerful lightweight motor that could enable electric cars to zoom along for hundreds of miles without causing pollution. Solar panels on their roofs or in garages would charge them with renewable energy.

In an interview with The Independent on Sunday, the scientist forecast that electric cars would be "the future" of transport, and predicted they could outnumber petrol vehicles in as little as 10 years' time.

"They're quiet and they're pollution free," enthused Sir James, whose bagless vacuum cleaner cemented his reputation as an innovative risk-taker and earned him an estimated £700m fortune.

The 61-year-old inventor also expressed his belief that the cars could overcome their current drawbacks – their short range and slow speed. "An electric car doesn't go far enough. It could do. Electric motors can do that," he said, adding that there were "fantastic opportunities" to make electric vehicles lighter.

"At the moment, electric cars are seen as city cars and to go 30mph is quite enough, but in the future that will change. An electric motor can go to very high speeds."

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