James Dyson scraps project to build electric cars

James Dyson scraps project to build electric cars

James Dyson has announced a project to build electric cars has been scrapped.

The inventor, best known for his vacuum cleaners, said engineers had developed a “fantastic electric car” but it was not commercially viable.

In an email to workers, Mr Dyson said the company had unsuccessfully tried to find a buyer for the project, launched in 2017.

Mr Dyson said the achievements of the engineering team had been “immense”, given the enormity and complexity of the project.

He added: “The Dyson Automotive team has developed a fantastic car; they have been ingenious in their approach while remaining faithful to our philosophies.

Dyson’s new campus at at Hullavington Airfield in Wiltshire, England (Fred MacGregor/PA)
Dyson’s new campus at at Hullavington Airfield in Wiltshire, England (Fred MacGregor/PA)

“However, though we have tried very hard throughout the development process, we simply can no longer see a way to make it commercially viable.

“We have been through a serious process to find a buyer for the project which has, unfortunately, been unsuccessful so far.

“I wanted you to hear directly from me that the Dyson Board has therefore taken the very difficult decision to propose the closure of our automotive project.”

He said moves were under way to quickly find alternative roles within Dyson for as many of the hundreds of employees on the project as possible.

There were enough vacancies to absorb most of the employees into Dyson’s business, he said.

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

“This is a challenging time for our colleagues and I appreciate your understanding and sensitivity as we consult with those who are affected.

“Dyson will continue its £2.5 billion investment programme into new technology and grow the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology.”

Sites including Malmesbury in Wiltshire, and Singapore will be expanded and the company will concentrate on the “formidable task” of manufacturing solid state batteries and other technologies.

He added: “In summary, our investment appetite is undiminished and we will continue to deepen our roots in both the UK and Singapore.”

More on this topic

Electric buses move a step closer after trials in Dublin and CorkElectric buses move a step closer after trials in Dublin and Cork

Making Cents: Many benefits as we drive forward with electric carsMaking Cents: Many benefits as we drive forward with electric cars

Electric example: A challenge for State companiesElectric example: A challenge for State companies

Will grids cope with a surge in electric cars?Will grids cope with a surge in electric cars?

More in this Section

Protesters climb onto North Sea oil platformsProtesters climb onto North Sea oil platforms

German exports to UK drop again in first seven months of 2019German exports to UK drop again in first seven months of 2019

Businesses on both sides of Irish border ‘already affected by Brexit’Businesses on both sides of Irish border ‘already affected by Brexit’

US Economists back spending moreUS Economists back spending more


Lifestyle

Helen O’Callaghan says we are the least strict in all of Europe.Praise over punishment: Irish parents least strict in Europe - study

Kya deLongchamps detects a hint of rebellion behind the ritual of afternoon tea.Vintage View: English tradition of afternoon tea won't exit with Brexit

Friends and Young Offenders actors Shane Casey and Dominic MacHale speak to Pat Fitzpatrick about struggling to make it but why they are not seeking out fame.‘I was down to a euro’ - The Young Offenders actors tell of struggle to make it in acting

Gerry Fitzgerald runs Bandon Books Plus in Riverview Shopping Centre, Bandon, Co Cork.We Sell Books: Turning over a new leaf from bank to bookshop in Bandon

More From The Irish Examiner