Dyson has officially abandoned its plans to build an electric vehicle as the project was deemed not commercially viable.
The British company had started development of an electric luxury SUV that was suppose to launch in the market in 2021, with James Dyson promising “fundamentally new technologies and some inventive leaps”. Dyson had already started building prototypes for testing.
“The Dyson Automotive team have 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 cannot make it commercially viable,” the company said in a statement.
Dyson even tried to find a buyer for the project but failed to do so and eventually pulled the plug completely. The £2.5 billion investment program however will remain alive, focusing instead on the development of solid state batteries and other technologies that were meant to be featured in their cars, including sensing tech, vision systems, robotics, machine learning and AI.
“Our battery will benefit Dyson in a profound way and take us in exciting new directions,” company founder and inventor Sir James Dyson told employees in an email.
Dyson’s long-term plan was to launch three electric models into the market, which would feature solid state batteries instead of the lithium-ion ones that are widely used today.
“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. We are working to quickly find alternative roles within Dyson for as many of the team as possible and we have sufficient vacancies to absorb most of the people into our Home business,” the company added.
The electric car project employed 523 people, 500 of whom were located in the UK. Dyson said it will try to find other roles within the company’s home division that’s responsible for a variety of products ranging from hairdryers to vacuum cleaners.