By on October 10, 2019

Despite Dyson’s promise of delivering multiple versions of an electric car that would surpass everything we’ve seen before and confirmation that it had functional prototypes already in testing, the company has axed its EV program entirely.

The firm announced its decision on Thursday, quoting founder James Dyson directly. “The Dyson Automotive team have developed a fantastic car; they have been ingenious in their approach while remaining faithful to our philosophies,” he explained. “However, though we have tried very hard throughout the development process, we simply cannot make it commercially viable.”

Dyson stated that the company was unable to find a buyer for the project, leading the board to suggest the £2.5 billion ($3.11 billion) automotive project be abandoned. While the corporation did not indicate how much of the capital was leftover, it said the funds would be used improve the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology or funneled into other tech programs. Any advancements stemming from its EV research will be utilized wherever possible — including commercial licensing agreements.  

“We will also concentrate on the formidable task of manufacturing solid state batteries and other fundamental technologies which we have identified: sensing technologies, vision systems, robotics, machine learning, and AI offer us significant opportunities which we must grab with both hands,” continued Mr. Dyson. “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.”

Dyson’s automotive team will be disbanded, with the company stating it would attempt to find positions for them within its core business (home appliances). Those that cannot be absorbed into those roles will be treated “fairly and with the respect deserved.” Presumably, that means let go with some amount of consideration and grace.

At its peak, the automotive team had just over 500 employees — with the vast majority located in England.

Dyson announced its EV project in 2017. The following year, the company began solidifying plans to construct an assembly plant in Singapore. Construction was expected to wrap in 2020, with vehicle production commencing early in 2021.

The business also received a £16 million in government grants from the UK, intended for battery research, and dumped millions of its own cash into building test courses for the now-abandoned vehicle. Dyson said any facilities intended for use in its vehicle program will eventually be designated for other projects.

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46 Comments on “Dyson’s Electric Automobile Bites the Dust...”


  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    It looks like Rivian currently has the least controversial ideas re EVs, and big names have bought into it, like Ford, Amazon, etc, with more to follow.

    The future is in EV pickup trucks and CUVs. Sedans, ICE and EV, are sooooooo last century.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    I see only two ways that electric cars become truly mainstream in the US.

    1) Government mandates (aka the Yang Gang).
    2) Gas/diesel/nat gas prices raised to multiples of current numbers via taxes and restrictions on production.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “two ways that electric cars become truly mainstream in the US.”

      What I believe is that EVs are just too damn expensive, toys for the rich, and not on par with even the most basic ICE vehicles.

      But EVs are ideal for heavily populated Metropolitan areas like SoCal, the Bay Area, NYC, Atlanta, and the vast majority of retirement communities in Florida where “money” just oozes out into the streets.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        @hdc:

        “toys for the rich”

        Don’t forget that the Nissan Leaf led the way for many years, and we discussed this affordable EV just yesterday:

        https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2019/10/americas-cheapest-lease-pay-little-go-a-reasonable-but-not-exceptionally-long-distance/

        But I’ll grant that Tesla now leads the way, and their cars start at the high end of affordability for many people. I just chafe at the ‘rich people’ stereotype.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          Don’t forget that ‘affordable’ EVs can only exist as long as there are surpluses created by the sale and utility of real cars.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          SCE to AUX, I completely understand your view and your position on EVs.

          But keep in mind that the vast majority of people still buy ICE vehicles because they cannot afford to buy an EV instead.

          No matter how hard fanatics try to champion the merits of EVs, they are still “also rans.” An insignificant blip on the SAAR.

          I’m willing to buy a Rivian pickup truck for local running around, if it is within my financial apportionment for transportation to do so, once we settle down to one place to live out our lives.

          But if I can afford to buy a Rivian pickup truck, it will not be the only vehicle I own.

          My Rivian pickup truck will be “an addition” to my transportation conveyances that have far greater range with shorter refueling stops.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        Yes, EVs do work well in some areas, but would be a bit of an issue in some areas for some people. But, the EV technology we have today won’t be the technology we have 5 to 10 years from now. The charging infrastructure we have now won’t be the infrastructure we have 5 to 10 years from now. Material science advances are constantly improving batteries and charging infrastructure and technology is advancing as well. It’s difficult to predict how far the technology will advance by a particular date since what may be great in a lab could be difficult or impossible to put into mass production.

    • 0 avatar
      retrocrank

      yup, i think you are so right on this. The first shouldn’t happen in the USA if we expect “USA” to continue to mean that government of the people, by the people, and for the people still includes the latter two phrases….but I’m not holding my breath on that one. Second should happen simply because we don’t really pay forward the entire costs of fuel and the consequences of profligate use of fuel – – but we should be.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Instead of setting standards of living for the majority of Americans to pre-industrial revolution levels, we should just pull out of the middle east and stop protecting ‘corporate interests’ and shipping lanes outside of our borders. We’ve got more oil than anyone else, and costs will quickly rise to levels where extracting our own oil makes sense. The resulting employment and positive trade balance will allow us to dig ourselves out of the hole that progressives have been trying to bury us in.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/10/10/california-power-outage-power-restored-some-still-in-dark/3927858002/

          Thought this may amuse the EV lovers.

          Not everyone can afford to buy an AC generator.

          • 0 avatar
            indi500fan

            I assume if you can afford a Telsa for 50 grand and up, a couple thousand for a good gen set is no big deal, and it’s handy to keep your house going too. Nobody wants to lose a refrigerator full of grub.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Yup, when living in CA, when you choose to buy an EV, buy a 30-amp AC generator as well.

            Hey, that’s what makes the Rivian pickup truck the ideal vehicle – just mount a Honda LP Gas EU6500 Inverter/Generator (~$5K) in the bed.

            No more Range Anxiety!

          • 0 avatar
            thornmark

            good thing the generator runs on electricity and not on an Earth destroying fossil fuel

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            thornmark, the Light Duty AC generator has to run on LP Gas because during a power outage few gas stations have standby-generators large enough to keep operating.

            LP Gas requires little or no AC power to fill LP Gas tanks, like you use for the gas grill, except bigger.

            All of my fixed-position AC generators for residences run on NatGas, cycle and test-run themselves once a week, and kick on automatically during brown-outs or black-outs. Best thing since corn cobs!

            Kohler 22KW is the best on the market, but if you can afford it, the Wacker 70G (Diesel-100 gallons-trailer mounted) is the pro’s choice, and runs for a long, long time.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            Tesla is adding powerwalls to superchargers in the areas impacted by the blackouts. They also have a goal to take the superchargers off the grid with solar and powerwalls. My own approach will be to add solar and a powerwall at home. I’d want to do that anyway even without the EVs. I have some computers that suck down more power than the cars.

    • 0 avatar

      3) PG&E will supply UNINTERRUPTED flow of electricity in 21st century.

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        Good news – the highest setting on the electric range at our rental condo recently was labeled “Infinite” – so it looks like earth’s energy problems are solved.

        (Bad news – switching to that setting would destroy the universe?)

        • 0 avatar

          “(Bad news – switching to that setting would destroy the universe?)”

          No, you will just create a black hole. Universe as a whole has a zero energy.

          • 0 avatar
            conundrum

            The universe has zero energy? That breaks the Third law of Thermodynamics.

            Not that you’d know.

          • 0 avatar

            en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheeler%E2%80%93DeWitt_equation

            In Wheeler–DeWitt equation wave function contains all of the information about the geometry and matter content of the universe. H is still an operator that acts on the Hilbert space of wave functions, but it is not the same Hilbert space as in the nonrelativistic case, and the Hamiltonian no longer determines evolution of the system, so the Schrödinger equation no longer applies. This property is known as timelessness. The reemergence of time requires the tools of decoherence and clock operators (or the use of a scalar field).

            To define energy you need time. Universe as a whole is static. In quantum theory both time and space are emergent properties of entanglement.

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      Or, they become as convenient to recharge on the road as filling a ICE car and they don’t have to be a third car for someone.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    If it was anything like there vacuum cleaners all the better! My buddies repair shop is overloaded with these pieces of crap that always are coming in with inop switches, broken cord hooks, grenaded brush rolls and hard to replace clutch assemblies. The comical part is how much most of these customers tell us they paid for this crap.

    • 0 avatar
      PeriSoft

      I mean, in fairness, people rarely bring functioning stuff into a repair shop.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      Based on the selling price vs the amount of hardware content, it’s easy to see how Dyson is stunningly profitable. But it does show the power of advertising. And since nobody is required to buy one, more power to them.

      • 0 avatar
        Flipper35

        We bought a Dyson Animal because we couldn’t get the house we bought clean with our run of the mill unit. I am sure there are others that work as well, but this model was recommended by several others. I do have to pull the beater brush every 6-8 months to pull the wife and daughter’s hair out of it. Takes 15 minutes to clean and reassemble.

        The blade units in the public bathrooms work better than the old style blowers as well, though I still prefer towels.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    This thing ran great on the hyperloop.

  • avatar
    la834

    Wow, this really sucks!

  • avatar
    Russycle

    Has anyone actually seen the Dyson wundercar?

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      Have they actually built some? I’ve not followed it at all. There are plenty of computer generated renderings of a generic CUV kinda shape.

      Supposedly Kalashnikov is working on an e-car too, that’s a name with plenty of brand equity around the world.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      Russycle,
      I was looking forward to seeing it – new ideas can’t hurt.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Dyson could have offered a dustbin on their cars then they would really suck. Not a fan of Dyson products which are overpriced and last half as long as their competitors.

    • 0 avatar
      VWGTI

      Our DC14 has only lasted about 15 years (with no signs of quitting) with one clutch replacement (20 minute job) and yearly cyclone section clean out with a garden hose. It does a great job cleaning up pet hair- our allergic friends can come to our house with no issues.

      Please tell us what vacuum cleaner has a service life of +30 years and cleans as well.

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    An electric car made by Dyson probably would have sucked anyway.

  • avatar

    Dyson developed the first invisible electric car in the world. He should sell technology to Richard Branson who knows how to bring the project to successful conclusion and commercial success. Meanwhile Dyson has to focus on developing reusable rockets made from high grade plastic.

  • avatar
    Fliggin_De_Fluge

    Is Elio Motors still around?

  • avatar
    downunder

    How anybody wins an argument against the best of TTAC commentators has got me stumped. This is an established organization/industrial design firm that is a success in its field and decided to turn their attention to an EV got a lot of money from the Gov, (who doesn’t) did some work, looked at the numbers and sais “sorry, no, it’s not viable stop now and salvage what we can.” This seems to be the logical thing to do, and the comments range from you failed to the machinations of power companies(?). Anybody else in this game would have sucked more money out of the government, investors, hopefuls and anybody else who could be mesmerized by marketing flimflam. and then after 10 years announce it’s a no show, but thanks for the largesse. At least they were honest about their prospects, and they got caned for it. Please be consistent and be thankful that it was only the UK’s money and theirs that was torched. Imagine if it was a SoCal silicon valley nerd who lost a $1000.00 deposit on it. Imagine the Twitterverse exploding.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    This is less of an argument than an observation especially from those of us who were suckers enough to buy Dyson products.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    Dyson was a big Brexit proponent. Then after going on about all the jobs he’d create in a Britain sitting like a duck in the North Sea, he decamped to Singapore where his head office is and where he planned to assemble his EV. Not a prototype in sight anywhere. He’s not kindly regarded in much of Blighty. Traitor and hypocrite are words you can use in a search to find out about this guy.

    He epitomises the corporatist who jumps like a rat from the ship to make his product in a low wage country – in this case Malaysia for the vacuums. America is crammed head to foot with such people, and who manage to get the lesser-brained at home to blame the foreign country instead of the domestic money behind the move. Apparently Trump and the others cannot add two and two, so China shall be the enemy, not the elite of the USA and elsewhere, grubbing for every last penny and not giving a rat’s a*s for their countrymen. Such a sweet deal – get rich, blame someone else, and the herd agrees. Moo.

    Dyson doesn’t get this pass in Britain. His fake EV was never going to see the light of day in the first place. And you can sense the prevarication in his responses to questions. Sure he’s going to spend the rest of the money.

    Read the comments below this article:

    https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars/article-7559545/Sir-James-Dyson-scraps-project-build-electric-cars.html

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Agree, Dyson should not be in the car business nor should they get any Government regardless of what country.


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