The UK-based company, Dyson which is best known for its vacuum cleaners, has scrapped a project to build electric cars. The firm, headed by inventor Sir James Dyson, said its engineers had developed and invented a “the fantastic electric car” but that it would not hit the roads because it was not “commercially viable”.
Dyson sent an email sent to all employees, saying that the company had unsuccessfully tried to find a buyer for the project. The division employs 500 UK workers. The planning by Dyson was to invest more than £2bn in developing a “radical and different” electric vehicle, a project it launched in 2016. The project said that the car would not be aimed at the mass market. The finances were divided as Half of the funds would go towards building the car and the other half towards developing electric batteries. Plans were revealed in October 2018 to build the car at a new plant in Singapore. It was projected to be completed next year with the first vehicles due to roll off the production line in 2021. Major manufacturers like VW can afford to plow tens of billions into the EV industry – on the basis that economies of scale will ultimately make the technology cheaper and generate returns. Even the upstart Tesla, widely credited with showing everyone else just how well electric cars could be, has burnt through mountains of cash and had to go cap in hand to investors. In conclusion, Dyson simply can’t afford to play with the big boys – although its efforts to make a quantum leap in battery technology will continue.
The first cars had already been developed and were being tested. But in an email, Sir James publicized that Dyson was shutting electric car facilities both in the UK and Singapore. The project employed 523 people, 500 of whom were in the UK, and Sir James praised their “great” achievements. “This is not a product failure, or a failure of the team, for whom this news will be hard to hear and digest,” Sir James wrote.