Dyson Cans Electric Car Project, Says It’s Not Commercially Viable

James Dyson founder of Dyson company

The British firm announced plans in 2017 for its electric auto to be launched in 2020, and Dyson saying that two billion British pounds were being spent on researching solid-state battery technology and electric motors, with a 400-person team of engineers developing the vehicle at the time. "We simply can no longer see a way to make it commercially viable", he wrote in part.

Tan Kong Hwee, assistant managing director at Singapore's Economic Development Board, said on Thursday that Singapore will continue to play an important role in Dyson's growth plans.

What was known about the Dyson electric vehicle? "We have been through a serious process to find a buyer for the project which has, unfortunately, been unsuccessful so far". I wanted you to hear directly from me that the Dyson Board has therefore taken the very hard decision to propose the closure of our automotive project.

Dyson said today that its sites including Malmesbury, in Wiltshire, and its Singapore facility will be expanded and the company will concentrate on the "formidable task" of manufacturing solid state batteries and other technologies.

The electric auto initiative, which critics derided as a vanity project, dates back to 2016, when Dyson announced plans to manufacture what he billed as a "radical and different" electric vehicle, at a new plant in Singapore. It isn't clear if the project closure will results in job losses in the UK.

The billionaire entrepreneur said the effort was "not a failure". Their achievements have been immense-given the enormity and complexity of the project.

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He said the firm was trying to find alternative roles for the workers in its home division, which makes things such as vacuum cleaners, fans and hairdryers.

Dyson went on to note that those who can't or don't wish to find a new position within the company will be supported "fairly and with the respect deserved". Dyson said at the time the vehicle project was announced: "We've been researching motors, batteries, aerodynamics, vision systems and robotics for 22 years".

The rest of the funds intended for the electric auto project would still be spent on developing other products, including its battery technology, Dyson said.

The statement also noted that the company would continue a £2.5 billion (RM13 billion) investment programme in "new technology", including the manufacture of new batteries, sensing technologies, vision systems, robotics, machine learning, and AI. This is not the first project which has changed direction and it will not be the last.

Last month, Bloomberg reported that the family office of Mr Dyson - Weybourne Group, incorporated in Singapore - is in the process of hiring IT and financial services staff.

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