Case studies

The future of the electric powertrain

Tuncay Celik

Tuncay Celik

Head of Motor and Power Systems Research, Malmesbury, UK

The cutting-edge research shaping Dyson’s Electric Vehicle.

My journey at Dyson started in 2006. I joined as a motor drives engineer after completing my MSc and PhD in electrical machines at Newcastle University. For over a decade, my work has contributed to the design of many Dyson digital motors that power our machines. We’ve created motors that run at speeds exceeding 100,000rpm and have the highest power density and efficiency in the industry.

During my time at Dyson I’ve been exposed to all aspects of motor development but also, fundamentally, I’ve enjoyed the culture at Dyson that allows us to push the limits of engineering and design. We’re encouraged to think differently and be authentic – not for the sake of it, but because we truly believe that by thinking this way, we can solve problems that others ignore and make a difference to our owner’s lives. It’s this that makes Dyson such an exciting and unique place to work.

That’s why, when I was initially asked to join a handful of engineers to work on the then “top secret” electric vehicle project, I wasn’t thinking about the potential size of the project or whether or not it would be a success – I just had absolute faith in James Dyson’s vision, the way we worked and our skills and capabilities. I knew that if we showed Dyson could make a difference in this field then it could be the beginning of something really exciting and rewarding. I drew on everything I’d learned up to that point and began to apply it on a whole different scale.

Since those initial meetings with James, the electric vehicle project has grown to have over 500 people working at our state-of-the-art automotive development campus in Hullavington, UK. Inside the former RAF airfield, restored hangars house some of the most advanced automotive prototyping and testing labs in the world. I’m fortunate enough not only to work with world-class facilities, but with world-class teams formed by great engineers that come from countries around the world; Hungary, China, India, France, Ireland and Japan, to name a few. Many have PhDs from the most reputable universities in their respective fields. It’s an exciting part of my role to bring together expertise, knowledge and ideas from such a wide range of disciplines into one ground-breaking project.

Now, four years after we began working on the electric vehicle, I’m establishing a focused Automotive Powertrain Research team. The electric powertrain is at the centre of the electric vehicle and determines how we store, convert and use energy in the car. It’s at the crux of the electric vehicle’s success. The aim of the research team will be to deliver an inventive powertrain solutions that will enable the continued disruption of the electric vehicle industry beyond 2021. I believe that if we apply our Dyson philosophy to the vehicle, to problem-solve, research and improve at all times, we can change the future of electric vehicles. The research that we do on the automotive electric powertrain will ultimately drive the future of Dyson and the transportation industry.