Dyson makes biggest bid yet in advanced battery manufacturing

3 May 2023

Household appliances firm Dyson is to set up a state-of-the-art battery manufacturing plant in Singapore as part of a global push, which will also see it opening new R&D labs in the Philippines and the UK.

The company, which is now headquartered in Singapore and carries out the bulk of its manufacturing there, chose the island state as the home for its first proprietary new technology battery plant.

Dyson expects the plant, which will represent its biggest ever investment in “advanced manufacturing”, to be completed this year and to be operational by 2025.

The facility will produce batteries for Dyson products.

“Dyson started its in-house battery programme more than a decade ago, to pioneer smaller, lighter, more sustainable, and more energy-dense batteries,” said the company.

“Research teams have been working globally on the proprietary new technology battery, which uses novel materials and processes, and is assembled in a smart, digitally-enabled environment.”

Dyson chief executive officer Roland Krueger praised Singapore’s “highly skilled engineers and scientists, and supportive government that embraces Industry 4.0 manufacturing technologies".

While the company did not reveal the cost of its total battery production plans, it said its new Philippines technology centre would represent an investment of £166m and its R&D facility in Bristol, UK, would cost £100m.

According to analysts, investment in the Singapore battery manufacturing plant is likely to be significantly higher than the two research facilities.

The R&D lab in Santo Tomas, Philippines, will cover the equivalent floor space of 92 basketball courts and will concentrate on R&D around advanced motor manufacturing techniques.

This will require 400 new engineers and would focus on software, AI robotics, fluid dynamics and hardware electronics.

The company said in a statement: “These fields of expertise are critical for Dyson's high-performing products from robotic technologies to air enhancement technologies and beauty products.”

Dyson announced plans in 2020 to invest £2.75bn in new technologies over five years and the latest round of investment forms part of that programme.

In 2021 Dyson cut ties with Malaysian supplier ATA IMS, which supplied parts for vacuum cleaners and air purifiers, over forced labour allegations, SM reported.

Dyson said it planned to drop the supplier – which obtains more than 80% of its revenue from Dyson – after an audit flagged potential abuses.

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