Dyson's electric car program has been scrapped in the wake of mounting profitability concerns, with the company most famous for making vacuum cleaners pulling the plug on the multi-billion-dollar project.
Reports today out of the UK quote an email from inventor James Dyson to staff confirming the project would be abandoned, and that the company tried, but ultimately failed, to find a buyer for the firm's Singapore production tech.
"Though we have tried very hard throughout the development process, we simply can no longer see a way to make it commercially viable,” Dyson said in an email obtained by AutoCar in the UK.
According to reports, it was fellow EV startups Tesla and Nio that essentially forced the board's hand, given neither company has managed to find sustained profitability, despite - in the case of Tesla especially - significant sales growth.
Earlier interviews, as well as lodged patents, confirmed the billionaire investor was working on a Range Rover-sized EV with twin motors, one at each axle. Critically, the company was focused on developing solid-state battery technology and a "skateboard" platform that would underpin as many as three EVs.
The first vehicle was expected to launch in 2021, and the project had been the subject of huge investment (some $4.5b), with vehicles to be built at a dedicated two-level production facility in Singapore home to some 1100 workers, joining 500 workers dedicated to the project in the UK.
But it seems the vehicle project has now been axed, though Dyson is reportedly keen to continue developing the surrounding technology.
“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,” Dyson's email to staff reportedly read.