Dyson, best known for its vacuums, announced that it is shutting down its multi-billion-dollar plan to launch a new electric car after they came to the conclusion that it isn’t “commercially viable.”
Starting in 2016, Dyson had long been rumored to be working on its own electric vehicle. The rumors intensified when the company acquired Michigan-based solid-state battery startup Sakti3 for $90 million and announced plans to build an important $1 billion battery factory to mass-produce the next-generation battery technology.
The company later confirmed the plans in an email to employees.
Dyson confirmed that it was investing £2 billion ($2.7 billion USD) to bring electric vehicles to market and earlier this year, we learned that they were actually planning to produce 3 all-electric vehicles and possibly skipping solid-state batteries for the first generation.
They eventually moved away from solid-state batteries, but they moved forward with plans to produce electric vehicles.
Dyson started converting an airfield into an electric car R&D hub with a massive test track in the UK, but they eventually announced plans to bring electric vehicle production to Singapore.
They had over 600 employees working on electric vehicles and filed several patents for their technology.
Now they are shutting down the project.
They reportedly tried to sell the division, but they couldn’t find a buyer and instead decided to take the loss.
James Dyson made the announcement in an email to employees today (via The Verge):
“The Dyson automotive team has developed a fantastic car: they have been ingenious in their approach while remaining faithful to our philosophies. However, though we have tried very hard throughout the development process we simply can no longer see a way to make it commercially viable.”
The founder of the company said that they will try to find other positions within the company for the employees involved in the EV project.
It goes to show that it’s not easy to build an electric car from scratch.
That’s why we have to give credits to companies like Tesla who not only managed to do it, but it is now producing vehicles at a rate of almost 400,000 units per year.
We are starting to see more startups now succeeding, especially in China, but it remains a difficult product to bring to market and successfully manufacture.
I think we are going to see a few more failures in the next few years, but I also believe several EV startups are also going to reach production.
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