British firm says ground-breaking car plans are "not commercially viable" but vows to continue developing technology surrounding it
James Attwood, digital editor
10 October 2019

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.”

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Although the car project has been stopped, the firm says it remains committed to the £2.5bn technology investment, which will be spent on further developing the IP and technology that was set to underpin the car. That includes continued investment in robotics, manufacturing techniques and, in particular, solid-state battery technology. It is understood that Dyson is open to licensing some of the technology it develops to other firms. 

Dyson said the technology it is developing will “offer us significant opportunities which we must grab with both hands.”

He added: “Our battery will benefit Dyson in a profound way and take us in exciting new directions. In summary, our investment appetite is undiminished and we will continue to deepen our roots in both the UK and Singapore.”

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

Dyson said: “This is not a product failure, or a failure of the team, for whom this news will be hard to hear and digest. Their achievements have been immense – given the enormity and complexity of the project.” 

He added: “Since day one, we have taken risks and dared to challenge the status quo with new products and technologies. Such an approach drives progress, but has never been an easy journey. The route to success is never linear.

“This is not the first project which has changed direction and it will not be the last. I remain as excited about the future of Dyson as I have always been. Our ambitions have never been higher, our ability to invest has never been greater, and the team has never been stronger.”

 

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Comments
43

10 October 2019

I guess the key problem is that Dyson bet heavily on solid state batteries but can't get the technology into production. This is a huge problem globally, because battery tech is holding back electric cars and much else.

289

10 October 2019

.....after all the big talk and press releases!

Still better than losing your shirt eh?

10 October 2019

'this is not a failure'. I'd be asking the employees for their opinions on that one, the people with mortgages. Ok, the mainstream manufacturers are getting into the market too fast for them to complete but it's still a failed project however the board tries to spin it.

I'd love to read the full story when it emerges.

10 October 2019

to Singapore.

11 October 2019

Making EVs or Making Battery Tech ? Mr Dyson is no dumby. I think he's wisely come to the conclusion that 'everything but the battery' is all manufactured by companies that do it well and have done it for years. You can't make healthy margins buying in components from suppliers that are way ahead of you.

EVs are basically lithium-ion tech (for now) with a host of historically recognisable 'stuff' bolted onto to it.  Where do you go for your 'healthy margins' when you're buying in from Bosch, Continental, Michelin, Eaton, TRW, Faurecia....(the list is endless....) ....?

Answer: you focus on the newest part of an EV where competition is less ...and where, on paper at least, margins can be healthier.  If you must buy shares in this space then buy LG Chem, Panasonic, Samsung.....not necessarily Tesla, unless - as some people suggest - Tesla will start to licence its batteries. 

As for Dyson: if they can master solid state tech, then becoming the Intel not the Acer or Dell to the EV Industry is much more sensible and commercially viable approach.

10 October 2019

just shows how well Elon Musk has done and how much deeper his pockets are... 

289

10 October 2019

...no, just shows how gullible his investors are.

I think their patience waiting for the company to make a profit rather tha horrific losses may be wearing thin!

11 October 2019

Complete arse, where do you think Tesla money has gone?

Developing infrastructure and cars from zero in just 15 years

Something no new car companies have achieved in 100 years.

Learn some facts first and give credit where it's due you twat

289

11 October 2019

Boy did you get out of bed the wrong side today Lambo spraying your own brand of venom around other contributors!

Fact - Tesla quality control is terrible

Fact- Tesla has lost well over $ 1Billion this year alone....this is not sustainable. At some point a company has to make profit or it will die

Fact - In his naivety, Musk has totally underestimated the resources to create a car company, and deliver quantities of vehicles on time.

Fact - The mainstream brands are really catching up now, which will pile pressure on Tesla (known premium product with quality control).

Therefore Tesla are on borrowed time now to turn the business around.

It is OK to be a Tesla fanboy Lambo....its your right. But before you start pouring expletives and being rude, insulting and objectionable.... just because someone has a different opinion to you, step back and think for a while please. You sound childish.

11 October 2019

Fact- you are a pointless Troll.

Tesla has sold more of its... ahhh I cant be arsed.

Morons like you just dont wanna know

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