Dyson scraps £2.5bn electric vehicle project

Daniel Fowler
October 14, 2019

In October 2018 Dyson revealed plans to build the vehicle at a new plant in Singapore.

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". He added that he had tried to find a new home for the product but had failed to do so, and made a decision to pull the plug.

A crossover style electric vehicle based on the picture (above) included in a patent application was expected to go on sale by 2021.

The company also said that it will go ahead with its £2.5 billion investment in developing other products like battery technology.

One only has to look at the story of Tesla, which has come further than anyone had a right to expect, yet still faces concerns over cashflow as it attempts to bring its products to market.

The lack of commercial viability is bore out by the fact Dyson tried and failed to find a buyer for the project.

The British company, which received £5 million in funds from the United Kingdom for the electric-car undertaking, said it will not stop work on other initiatives.

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Despite dumping the project, Dyson insisted the company would continue a US$3.1 billion investment program in new technology, including the manufacture of batteries, robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

"Our battery will benefit Dyson in a profound way and take us in exciting new directions". He said the team "has developed a fantastic vehicle; they have been ingenious in their approach while remaining faithful to our philosophies".

But the closure of the project indicates it underestimated the complexity and cost of starting a vehicle company from scratch.

He also highlighted that their achievements have been great "given the enormity and complexity of the project".

The firm hopes that as many staff working on the auto project as possible will be given roles elsewhere within Dyson, working on the firm's existing home products.

"Such an approach drives progress, but has never been an easy journey - the route to success is never linear", he said.

However, there had been little indication that Dyson was having second thoughts about the high-profile project, which hundreds of employees were already working on, until an announcement late on Thursday of the abrupt U-turn. "I am delighted to let you know that the Dyson Board has now decided that our first automotive manufacturing facility will be in Singapore".

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