Published: Mon, October 14, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Dyson scraps electric vehicles project

Dyson scraps electric vehicles project

British entrepreneur legend, James Dyson, has officially abandoned his electric vehicle project, according to multiple sources including The Verge. 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".

The company was charging ahead with a £2bn development programme that started in 2016, setting up a 500-strong team to produce something "radical and different".

Commenting on Dyson's decision, Carwow trading analyst, Charles Butler, said: "It's a shame that Dyson is pulling out of electric vehicle development as there was a lot of hype around it, particularly as a British product".

Volkswagen, the world's largest passenger auto maker, is investing €80 billion to mass produce electric cars, starting with the launch of its ID Vehicle that hits showrooms next year. The announcement came about two years after the company first disclosed its plans to jump into vehicle manufacturing.

It was building a manufacturing facility in the city state, scheduled for completion in 2020, with the first cars expected to roll off production lines a year later.

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Major manufacturers like VW can afford to plough tens of billions into the EV industry - on the basis that economies of scale will ultimately make the technology cheaper and generate returns. The latest reports say that the first Dyson electric cars had already been prototyped and were in testing.

The company, famed for its vacuum cleaners, announced in 2017 that more than 400 employees were already working on a vehicle, followed by the news in 2018 that it was investing £200m in new buildings and electric vehicle testing facilities at its Hullavington Airfield campus in the United Kingdom, while production on a manufacturing facility in Singapore started last December.

Dyson added: "This is not a product failure, or a failure of the team, for whom this news will be hard to hear and digest".

Sir James said Dyson would continue to work on the battery technology, which was used in the auto. For example, the wheels of the vehicle were to be unusually large for aerodynamic reasons, and Dyson also wanted to use said solid-state batteries.

"However, though we have tried very hard throughout the development process, we simply can no longer see a way to make it commercially viable", he told staff.

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