Dyson has scrapped plans to build what it called a "ground-breaking" electric vehicle, because it doesn’t feel that the project can be commercially viable.
The British firm had established a new Dyson Automotive division that was developing the car, a large crossover-style premium EV saloon, ahead of a planned launch in 2021. Billionaire inventor James Dyson had vowed that new technology and design methods would make it stand apart from every other electric vehicle.
The firm had committed £2.5 billion into technology including the car project. The design and development of the machine was being undertaken by a staff of just over 500 workers at a facility in Hullavington. It is understood the firm already had a working version of the car at the facility.
But in an email to staff, Dyson confirmed that the automotive project was being closed. He said the team “has developed a fantastic car; they have been ingenious in their approach while remaining faithful to our philosophies. However, though we have tried very hard throughout the development process, we simply can no longer see a way to make it commercially viable.”
It is understood that Dyson’s board considered the troubles of EV start-ups such as Tesla and Nio to make money from selling cars, and the speed with which mainstream car firms were moving into the electric car market, as reasons for the decision.
The firm had been planning to produce the car at a new factory in Singapore, and was shortly due to start on the hugely capital-intensive project of developing and tooling up that site. Dyson added that the firm did go through “a serious process to find a buyer for the project which has, unfortunately, been unsuccessful so far.”