Dyson announced £2.75 billion investment plan

According to its official homepage, Dyson announced a new investment plan as follows.

Dyson will double its portfolio of products and enter entirely new fields by 2025 – taking it beyond the home. To enable these plans, Dyson today announced a new £2.75 billion investment plan into new technologies and new products over the next five years. The investments will be focused in Singapore, the UK, and the Philippines, and are backed by plans to hire additional engineers and scientists in fields such as software, machine learning and robotics.

Dyson will invest further into research in the fields of robotics, next generation motor technology, intelligent products, machine learning, connectivity, and material science. A key focus is the commercialisation of Dyson’s proprietary solid state battery technology which is under development in the US, UK, Japan and Singapore. It promises safer, cleaner, longer-lasting and more efficient energy storage than today’s existing batteries.

“We continue the expansion of our operations in Singapore, UK and South East Asia, as a vital step of our future development. Now is the time to invest in new technologies such as energy storage, robotics and software which will drive performance and sustainability in our products for the benefit of Dyson’s customers. We will expand our existing product categories, as well as enter entirely new fields for Dyson over the next five years. This will start a new chapter in Dyson’s development.” Roland Krueger, Dyson, CEO

Who is Dyson?

Based on its homepage, the company profile of Dyson is described in the following way.

A new idea

In 1978, James Dyson became frustrated with his vaucum cleaner’s diminishing performance. Taking it apart, he discovered that its bag was clogging with dust, causing suction to drop. He’d recently built an industrial cyclone tower for his factory that separated paint particles from the air using centrifugal force. But could the same principle work in a vacuum cleaner?

He set to work. Five years and 5,127 prototypes later, he had invented the world’s first bagless vacuum cleaner

Dyson today

Today, there are Dyson machines in over 65 countries around the world. Dyson has grown from one man and one idea to a technology company with over 1,000 engineers worldwide. But it doesn’t stand still. At its core is an ever-growing team of engineers and scientists. More ideas, more invention..

What is solid-state battery?

According to SAMSUNG SDI’s homepage, solid-state battery is explained as follows.

A lithium-ion battery is composed of cathode, anode, separator and electrolyte. A lithium-ion battery applied at smartphones, power tools and EVs uses liquid electrolyte solution. On the other hand, a solid-state battery uses solid electrolyte, not liquid. 

[ Structure of Li-ion battery(left) and solid-state battery(right) ]

If you look at the image above, the Li-ion battery, which is commercially used, has a separator that keeps cathode and anode apart, with liquid electrolyte solution. On the other hand, the solid-state battery uses solid electrolyte, not liquid electrolyte solution, and the solid electrolyte plays a role of a separator as well.

What users most worry about a lithium-ion battery is safety. The current Li-ion battery has a risk of battery damage such as swelling caused by temperature change or leakage caused by external force since it uses liquid electrolyte solution. Therefore, we need devices or components that can improve safety.

However, a solid-state battery with solid electrolyte shows improved stability with a solid structure, and increased safety since it maintains the form even if the electrolyte is damaged.

Solid-state battery is one of the most important technologies in 2020s

Even though it is takes time and needs lots of effort, the importance of solid-state battery becomes intense. The safety of lithium-ion battery is skeptical (this is explained by SAMSUNG SDI as well), but the market of lithium-ion battery is expected to be larger and larger.

The year of 2020 can be critical for climate change because two Asian largest economies, China and Japan, declared that each of countries aims to reach carbon neutral by 2060 and 2050, respectively. In addition to this, Joe Biden will be elected as 46th president of the United States of America (we cannot conclude the official result yet on November 29th) and he mentioned that the country would think of the problem more seriously and invest green technologies more. To achieve net zero emission, Electric Vehicles (EVs) will be popular more in the world, on the other hand, there is still concern for the safety of lithium-ion battery.

In theory, solid-state battery could be one solution for this problem, but of course, there are a lot of rooms for developments. Therefore, more countries, institutions and companies (like Dyson) should invest research and development of the new technology so as to make it feasible, available and affordable. In this sense, Dyson’s investment plan is worth being paid attention and allows us to look forward to it.