Dyson Cans Electric Car Project, Says It’s Not Commercially Viable

Joanna Estrada
October 10, 2019

Dyson, the company known for its high-end vacuums and other luxury appliances, is canceling a $3.1 billion electric vehicle project because it can't figure out how to make money from it.

In an email to workers, Sir James said the company had unsuccessfully tried to find a buyer for the project, launched in 2017.

The division employs 500 United Kingdom workers.

Dyson had already started building prototypes for testing.

He added: 'My own amateur view of the electric-car market is that it has been underestimated. A year later, he revealed that he would make the auto in Singapore.

Even the upstart Tesla, widely credited with showing everyone else just how good electric cars could be, has burnt through mountains of cash and had to go cap in hand to investors.

Restoration of 1938 hangars in United Kingdom was base for Dyson's EV research and development.

Dyson's EV project was led by former Aston Martin chief engineer Ian Minards, who joined the vacuum company in 2016 as vice president. Dyson CEO Jim Rowan said the company would also still invest a total of £2.5bn in next generation technologies.

The first hints at the Dyson electric auto seen in May in the form of drawings, were actually filed 18 months earlier and show a seven-seat crossover vehicle with plenty of ground clearance, a sleek bonnet and slab-backed rear end.

Dyson had hoped to emulate how Elon Musk's Tesla has taken on the world's big auto makers and managed to set the benchmark for electric cars.

Sir James said the achievements of the engineering team had been "immense", given the enormity and complexity of the project.

But, he said: "We have tried very hard throughout the development process, we simply can no longer see a way to make it commercially viable".

"The Dyson Automotive team have developed a fantastic vehicle; they have been ingenious in their approach while remaining faithful to our philosophies". He told Dyson's 4,500 staff that "most" of the 523 employees working on the electric auto project would be redeployed elsewhere in the company.

While ambitions to launch a vehicle have been abandoned, Dyson said staff would continue to work on next generation battery technologies that were part of the plans.

He added: "Our battery will benefit Dyson in a profound way and take us in exciting new directions".

"This is not the first project which has changed direction, and it will not be the last", said Mr Dyson, adding that the company will continue to "deepen our roots both in the United Kingdom and Singapore". This is not the first project which has changed direction and it will not be the last.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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