Dyson's Electric Car Is Dead

Sir James Dyson

Sir James Dyson

The famed producer of vacuum and household appliances, which made a short-lived foray into the e-vehicle field and developed what Chairman James Dyson called a "fantastic auto", was unable to make it commercially viable despite experience with products for automotive and aeronautic markets.

The company led by British entrepreneur James Dyson has chose to shelve the project - less than a year after announcing it would do so.

While Dyson has now chose to shut down its EV facilities in the United Kingdom and Singapore, with the potential loss of 523 highly skilled employees which it is trying to re-allocate within the business, it said it will continue to work on the solid-state battery tech it developed for the vehicle. On the other, Boeing and Porsche have announced what sounds like a hugely ambitious project to develop a premium VTOL electric flying auto.

Mr Dyson added that they've been through "a serious process to find a buyer for the project which has, unfortunately, been unsuccessful so far". The team developing the electric vehicle and battery was 523 strong, with 500 of them located in the UK.

But the closure of the project indicates it underestimated the complexity and cost of starting a vehicle company from scratch. In particular Dyson is pleased with the development that have been made with batteries within the company. "However, though we have tried very hard throughout the development process, we simply can not make it commercially viable", the statement read. Some Dyson automotive staff will lose their jobs, but most will migrate to other roles in the company's Home business, according to the message.

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

Although Dyson is closing its automotive division, it said it would continue to develop solid state batteries, and other technology including vision systems, robotics, machine learning and AI.

Despite positive remarks from Mr Chan and analysts, Dyson's decision to put an end to its electric vehicle project may indicate that Singapore may not be attractive after all, given the high cost to operate in the country and its stringent policies. "This is not the first project which has changed direction and it will not be the last".