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Dyson abandons electric car plans a year after announcing a new plant

The vacuum manufacturer announced that it would halt work on its electric car project on Thursday in an email addressed to staff.

Sir James Dyson stated that he and his board of directors made the decision to terminate the electric car project after the company had found themselves unable to find a buyer.

“The Dyson automotive team has developed a fantastic car: they have been ingenious in their approach while remaining faithful to our philosophies”, explained Dyson to staff on Thursday (via The Verge). “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 company originally banked on unveiling the car in 2020 but the launch was pushed back to 2021 last October when chief exec Jim Rowan forwarded a memo to staff announcing the company would be building a new electric car plant in Singapore.

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Rowan told employees that the company had chosen to move business overseas “based on supply chains, access to markets, and the availability of the expertise” all of which would help Dyson to fuel its electric car ambitions.

A month prior, Sir James had sent a memo to staff himself committing a further two billion dollars to the project. He explained, “at this moment, we finally have the opportunity to bring all our technologies together into a single product”.

However, it seems that even the move to Singapore wasn’t enough to give Dyson the boost in the electric vehicle market the company required and Dyson has since ditched the project in favour of concentrating on the “formidable task of manufacturing solid-state batteries” and other “fundamental” technologies, including vision systems, robotics, machine learning, and AI.

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Thankfully, Dyson is working to find vacancies for the almost 600 employees it had concentrating on the project, reassuring staff that the company has “sufficient vacancies to absorb most of the people into our Home business”.

“This is not a product failure, or a failure of the team, for whom this news will be hard to hear and digest”, Dyson rounded up the message. “Their achievements have been immense – given the enormity and complexity of the project”.