Fleet News

Dyson pulls plug on electric car project

Dyson has cancelled its electric car project, condemning the initiative as “not commercially viable” in a huge blow to the Country's zero-emissions agenda.

The company was charging ahead with a £2bn development programme that started in 2016, setting up a 500-strong team to produce something “radical and different”.

A crossover style electric car based on the picture (above) included in a patent application was expected to go on sale by 2021.

In a statement, issued by founder James Dyson, it was revealed that the company had been trying to find a buyer for the project but has been unsuccessful.

“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,” said Dyson.

“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. For those who cannot, or do not wish to, find alternative roles, we will support them fairly and with the respect deserved,” he added.

The company says it will continue its £2.5bn investment program into new technology and grow grow its new University. It will also continue to expand at Malmesbury, Hullavington, Singapore and other global locations.

Dyson added: “We will also concentrate on the formidable task of manufacturing solid state batteries and other fundamental technologies which we have identified: sensing technologies, vision systems, robotics, machine learning, and AI 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. In summary, our investment appetite is undiminished and we will continue to deepen our roots in both the UK and Singapore.”

Charles Butler, motoring expert at carwow, added: “It’s a shame that Dyson is pulling out of electric car development as there was a lot of hype around it, particularly as a British product.

"Dyson are known for approaching design challenges differently so this had the potential to shake up the industry and offer some true innovation beyond what traditional manufacturers who weren’t starting with a clean sheet of paper could imagine.

"This shows just how tough it is to build good cars at an affordable price, the market for electric is hotting up and clearly Dyson didn’t think it was fit for the fight.”

Click here for electric cars and hybrids best practice and procurement insight

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Login to comment


No comments have been made yet.

Related content

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee