Thomas Heatherwick on his an air-purifying Tesla rival


British designer Thomas Heatherwick is designing Google’s new buildings in California and London.


LONDON – Thomas Heatherwick had never designed a car before being hired by Chinese auto firm IM Motors.

“We’re not car designers,” he told the company when it asked his London studio to dream up a new electric vehicle. “That’s why we want you to work on this,” the company replied.

The result was the Airo car that can theoretically strip the air of pollution as it drives along. Its designs were unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show in April.

Heatherwick, who is behind the futuristic designs of Google’s new buildings in Mountain View and London, told CNBC at the Founders Forum tech event


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