Who Killed The Dyson Electric Car?

Dyson’s £500m electric car project was scrapped not long ago. Rory Reid looks at the potential reasons for its failure and examines just how difficult it is for new players to enter the electric car market.

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21 Replies to “Who Killed The Dyson Electric Car?”

  1. V

    It sucks that from the sound of it he was actually trying to make a car that was better for people and the environment than all the other profit driven giants that never have given a shit about either of those and never will. Tesla and the rest are only doing it for profit and disguising it in eco friendliness to reach a market. Auto manufacturers need to dramatically change the way they do things and need to be held accountable for the pollution they cause. Nothing about making a car is sustainable and obviously cars themselves aren't either. Car manufacturers have huge budgets, design and engineering departments as well as research and development that they need to refocus on making their products sustainably and stop designing obsolescence into them.

  2. sukkel0012214214221

    I'd like to buy an electric car to travel through Europe with my family without having to charge every 300km but not for that price. Building prototypes costs a lot but he already has connections with battery companies for other products. Didn't he abandon the project too soon?

  3. Energie Wender

    When you make a new car project all about the design gadgets instead of working towards cost leadership for the essentials aka battery cells and BMS … Companies like Dyson excel at getting low prices from their suppliers and charge a huge premium for their brand name and design to their customers. How much innovation is in that?

  4. Pippa Smith

    I wrote an article for a business magazine on the foolhardiness of Dyson's electric car project. I called it his Sinclair C5 moment. He had experimental battery technology which he was trying to commercialize at light speed. Most other solid state battery researchers thought that the potential for a commercial battery was five to ten years longer than the timescale Dyson had given himself. Dyson also chose to start from scratch. His potential competitors, the existing car manufacturers, already had production lines. His potential competitors had existing car models. He was building something completely new when his competitors were engaged in product modification. He had small capacity. His potential competitors had huge capacity to produce.

    Dyson was developing his own battery technology, not linking to an existing supplier. Again more cost. Dyson was trying to develop a new battery technology, smaller lighter batteries but with faster charging times and greater capacity. There were lots of rumours that said batteries were unable to provide the power output demanded by the Dyson Car. this is exactly the problem Sinclair had with the C5. Sinclair had developed a new battery technology (something he had been working on for decades) BUT his batteries weren't ready for commercial launch so the C5 was a busted flush that had to be pedalled up the slightest of hills.

    Dyson could have gone into a joint venture to supply his new battery technology to the existing car industry. By focusing on the battery alone rather than trying to build a new car from scratch, he may have got better results. Instead, at the launch of his car project, Dyson chose to slag off the existing car industry and go it alone.

    It was always going to be a problem for Dyson to launch his new car at a competitive price. He was operating at the edge of commercial viability with his battery technology add a lack of economies of scale and existing vehicle parts -suspension, brakes, etc, his car was always going to e hugely expensive and produced in small batches. Just look at the issues Tesla had when demand exceeded their production capacity.

  5. Petar Bozic

    Dyson products tend to be good, great even, but lose 99.9% of their value as soon as the new one comes out. I was excited by the prospect of a Dyson automobile but I'm not surprised they over-promised and would have over-charged for it… Maybe stick to sucking inside the house, and blowing in the public toilets ;p

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