Dyson pulls the plug on its electric car project, but it’s not the end of the road

Dyson has canceled his plans to build an electric car. Sir James Dyson e-mailed his staff yesterday to let them know that the project was a "fantastic car," but the company simply "sees no way to make it commercially viable."

The company had clearly hoped that its battery and engine know-how would help with the electric car project, but it seems the project was more complex than anyone had imagined. Some critics rejected it as little more than a vanity project.

A 500-member department worked on the project for two years, and Dyson said a buyer had been sought, but to no avail. In his e-mail he emphasized that profitability was the reason for the abolition of the plans, and praised those who spent their time, effort and abilities.

"This is neither a product defect nor a failure of the team, for whom this message will be difficult to understand and digest, and their performance has been immense given the enormous scale and complexity of the project," he said.

Change direction

The work done so far will not be in vain. In particular, Dyson is pleased with the development made with batteries in the business. "Our battery will profoundly benefit Dyson and lead us in exciting new directions," he said.

Dyson pointed out that his company has always "taken risks and dared to challenge the status quo with new products and technologies," noting that the road to success is seldom linear. "This is not the first project that has changed direction, and it will not be the last," he added.

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It was hoped that the first Dyson electric would be available to customers in 2021, but now solid-state batteries intended for use in vehicles are being developed for other projects.

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