11 October 2019 08:52
Dyson, the technology company best known for its vacuum cleaners, has scrapped a project to build electric cars. The firm, headed by British inventor Sir James Dyson, said its engineers had developed a "fantastic electric car" but that it would not hit the roads because it was not "commercially viable". In an email sent to all employees, Sir James said the company had unsuccessfully tried to find a buyer for the project. Dyson had planned to invest more than £2bn in developing a "radical and different" electric vehicle, a project it launched in 2016. Half of the funds would go towards building the car, half towards developing electric batteries.
In October 2018 Dyson revealed plans to build the car at a new plant in Singapore. The rest of the funds intended for the electric car project would still be spent on developing other products, including its battery technology, Dyson said. The assistant managing director of Singapore's Economic Development Board Tan Kong Hwee said the country would still play a significant role in Dyson's growth plans. "As Dyson's decision not to pursue the electric vehicle business was taken at an early stage, the disruption to its operations and workforce in Singapore will be minimal," he said. But in an email on Thursday, Sir James revealed that Dyson was closing electric car facilities both in the UK and Singapore.
Tesla TSLA Dyson announced in 2017 that his company was joining the global race to electric vehicles that pits the biggest established carmakers against specialists such as A year ago, the company said that it was planning to build the cars at a new factory in Singapore that would have been operational by 2020. Dyson has cancelled its plans to build an electric car. The company had built a "fantastic" vehicle, founder James Dyson wrote in an email, but the £2.5bn project is not "commercially viable". The electric car division employs more than 500 people, and Sir James said the company would try to find them positions on other projects. The company had already invested vast amounts of money into the project, including building testing tracks in the UK that were already in use.
Dyson had also developed other technologies – "sensing technologies, vision systems, robotics, machine learning, and AI" – which Sir James said"offer us significant opportunities which we must grab with both hands". "Our battery will benefit Dyson in a profound way and take us in exciting new directions," he claimed in the email. Almost exactly a year ago, Dyson caused controversy when it announced that the car would be built in Singapore, despite Sir James' very public backing of Brexit. Sir James Dyson has announced a project to build electric cars has been scrapped. The inventor, best known for his vacuum cleaners, said engineers had developed a "fantastic electric car", but it was not commercially viable. Designer and company founder James Dyson In an email to workers, Sir James said the company had unsuccessfully tried to find a buyer for the project, launched in 2017. Sir James said the achievements of the engineering team had been "immense", given the enormity and complexity of the project. He said: "The Dyson Automotive team has developed a fantastic car. "However, though we have tried very hard throughout the development process, we simply can no longer see a way to make it commercially viable. He said moves were under way to quickly find alternative roles within Dyson for as many of the hundreds of employees on the project as possible. Sir James said: "In summary, our investment appetite is undiminished and we will continue to deepen our roots in both the UK and Singapore."