Sir James Dyson has announced his company will spend more than $2.7 billion to launch a zero-emissions vehicle by 2020.

If a record producer can start an airline and a car maker can head to Mars, there’s nothing stopping a vacuum cleaner company from producing an electric vehicle. That’s the thinking behind James Dyson’s latest step in innovation, with the announcement he plans to have an electric vehicle on the roads by 2020.

The Dyson empire: From vacuums to vehicles

Dyson has revolutionized a number of processes for cleaning, namely the well-known vacuum and the lesser-known machine that serves as a vacuum cleaner for car engines. That latter innovation is basically built off the design for his cyclone vacuum, but on a larger scale. That large cyclone may have been a lot of the motivation behind Sir James Dyson’s interest in an electric vehicle: having to clean combustion engines will give you an up-close look at just how much pollution even a single car is contributing to the planet.

Dyson has begun work on a battery electric vehicle, due to be launched by 2020

Dyson began work on a cyclonic filter to fit on to a vehicle’s exhaust system and trap particulates, back in 1990!

How much, mister?

The plans for an electric vehicle are full of noble, anti-pollution intentions, but the prohibitive cost of competing models on the roads keeps more drivers from making the switch. Dyson’s announcement hasn’t included the number of cars the company anticipates producing each year, but more importantly, left off the expected cost. Their vacuum cleaner line is decidedly the luxury Cadillac of home vacuums, so there’s no reason to assume that their vehicles will be the Ford equivalent of a market currently dominated by Tesla.

EV competition hotting-up

However, even Tesla has produced a lower-end sedan aimed at the every day commuter. The Model 3 starts at $36,000, which is a fairly even comparison when a gas-fueled new Toyota Camry starts at $23,000 or so, stripped of any sought-after add-ons. Drivers can shell-out as much as $80,000 for a high-end Tesla sedan or over $100,000 for the Roadster model, though, so the company is looking at a “something for every budget” concept. Dyson will have to meet those same needs if the real goal is to get consumers to make the switch.