Dyson Gets Out of the Electric Car Making Game

Dyson announced on its website its killing its electric vehicle project but is still working on battery technology.
Donna Fuscaldo
Electric car charging basketman23/iStock

Dyson, the technology company known for its high-power vacuum cleaners and blowdryers, has thrown in the towel when it comes to making an electric vehicle. 

In an email to employees posted on its Website, Dyson, which is lead by Sir James Dyson, the British inventor, said the company's engineers were able to create a "fantastic electric car" but that it will never be seen by consumers because it can't be made commercially. 


Dyson had big plans for the electric vehicle market 

Back in 2016, Dyson announced plans to make an electric vehicle which it said at the time would be radical. It earmarked  £2bn for the project, with half the money going to build the car and the other half for electric battery development. In the fall of last year, it announced it was building the vehicle at a plant in Singapore, with the first car expected to be available in 2021.

But in the email, Dyson said the company couldn't afford to compete with the larger companies developing electric vehicles. It does plan to continue to work on its battery technology. Dyson said the company will use the funds to develop other products as well. The team developing the electric vehicle and battery was 523 strong, with 500 of them located in the UK. 

"This is not a product failure, or a failure of the team, for whom this news will be hard to hear and digest," Dyson wrote in the email. "We have tried very hard throughout the development process, we simply can no longer see a way to make it commercially viable."  Dyson said he is in the process of finding different roles for the employees in its home division which churns out the vacuums, hairdryers, and fans. 

Dyson will continue to invest in new technology 

The inventor turned CEO went on to say the company will continue its £2.5bn investment program into new technology, that it plans to grow its new University and expand at Malmesbury, Hullavington, Singapore and other global locations. Development dollars will focus on manufacturing solid-state batteries, sensing technologies, vision systems, robotics, machine learning, and AI.  

"In summary, our investment appetite is undiminished and we will continue to deepen our roots in both the UK and Singapore," he wrote. "This is not the first project which has changed direction and it will not be the last."

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