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Dyson pulls the plug on its electric car project, but it's not the end of the road

Electric car
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Dyson has canceled its plans to build an electric car. Sir James Dyson emailed staff yesterday to inform them that while the project has resulted in a "fantastic car", the company "simply can no longer see a way to make it commercially viable".

The company had clearly been hoping that its expertise in batteries and motors would help with the electric car project, but it seems that the venture was more complex than anyone envisioned. Some detractors dismissed it as being little more than a vanity project. 

A 500-strong division worked on the project for two years, and Dyson said that a buyer had been sought for it, but to no avail. In his email he stressed that commercial viability was the reason for scrapping the plans, and he praised those who had dedicated their time, effort and skills.

"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 said.

Changing direction

The work that has been done so far will not be in vain. In particular Dyson is pleased with the development that have been made with batteries within the company. "Our battery will benefit Dyson in a profound way and take us in exciting new directions," he said.

Pointing out that his company has always "taken risks and dared to challenge the status quo with new products and technologies", Dyson observed that the route to success is rarely linear. "This is not the first project which has changed direction and it will not be the last," he added.

It had been hoped that the first Dyson electric would be available to customer in 2021, but now the solid state batteries destined for use in the vehicles will continue to be developed for other projects.

Via Financial Times

Sofia Wyciślik-Wilson

Sofia is a tech journalist who's been writing about software, hardware and the web for nearly 20 years – but still looks as youthful as ever! After years writing for magazines, life moved online and remains fuelled by technology, music and nature.

Having written for websites and magazine since 2000, producing a wide range of reviews, guides, tutorials, brochures, newsletters and more, Sofia continues to write for diverse audiences, from computing newbies to advanced users and business clients. Always willing to try something new, sharing new discoveries is a major passion.

Sofia lives and breathes Windows, Android, iOS, macOS and just about anything with a power button, but particular areas of interest include security, tweaking and privacy.