Pioneering billionaire inventor Sir James Dyson has given up on his ambitious electric car project after failing to make it ‘commercially viable’.
Dyson, who built his reputation on a revolutionary range of vacuum cleaners, launched the electric car project in 2017, banking on his company’s expertise in batteries and electric motors. Blueprints for the car were also released earlier this year.
However, after two years of development involving a team of over 500 engineers, he recently decided to scrap the project because it was no longer commercially viable. The company had also failed to find a buyer for the project.
Having selected Singapore to produce these cars, Dyson had started work on a new manufacturing facility in the city-state, which was scheduled for completion in 2020. The first electric car was also expected to roll out by 2021.
Acknowledging the work of his engineers, Dyson said they had built a ‘fantastic car’ but the company was hard-pressed to find a way to make it commercially viable.
More than two billion pounds had been allocated towards the development of the electric car as well as batteries. Though the electric car project has hit a roadblock, their R&D work in battery technology will continue.
While there is considerable consumer interest in the electric car market, an electric vehicle still costs more to manufacture than conventional petrol or diesel cars.
Other players in the electric vehicle market such as Tesla and Volkswagen have invested billions of dollars in development. While Tesla cars are already on the road though the company is yet to turn in a profit, Volkswagen has invested €80 billion (AU$130,771,600) in its electric car project, banking on mass production and economies of scale to make it viable.
With the closure of Dyson’s automotive division, the company is working to reassign its engineers to other areas of the business.
Image: Wikimedia Commons - Smnt