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Dyson comes to realize that making electric cars really sucks

Better known for its stylish and sturdy vacuum cleaners and other household appliances, Dyson surprised everyone in September 2017 when it said it was developing a “radically different” electric car.

The latest? Dyson has abandoned its effort to build the vehicle, as it’s been unable to find a way to make it commercially viable.

Company founder and chief engineer Sir James Dyson broke the news in an email to employees that was seen by the BBC.

In it, Dyson said his team had developed “a fantastic car” that was already undergoing tests, but added that despite its best efforts, it “simply cannot make it commercially viable.”

He went on to say the company had been through “a serious process” to find a buyer for the project but had failed to attract one.

Dyson was at pains to point out that abandoning the endeavor did not mark “a project failure, or a failure of the team,” adding that it had achieved a lot considering “the enormity and complexity of the project.”

Later, the company also took to Twitter to announce that it had ended the development of its electric car.

When the project came to light in 2017, Dyson said his company would invest $2.7 billion to make the car a reality. Work included the creation of a 500-strong team of engineers at its headquarters in the U.K. It also purchased a nearby disused airfield to build multiple test tracks for the proposed car.

A year later, Dyson announced that the vehicle would be built at a new facility in Singapore, with the first ones tootling into showrooms in 2021. But the electric-car project has now turned to dust.

On a more positive note, the company said it will continue efforts to build and manufacture solid state batteries, and also carry on with the development of other systems linked to its electric car project, including sensing technologies, vision systems, robotics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

Dyson promised to find other jobs for those who had been working on its electric-car project, noting in his email that there are plenty of vacancies in the company’s home appliances unit.

The abandonment of the project highlights the major challenges faced by anyone wishing to enter the increasingly competitive electric car market from a standing start. Tesla, for example, is burning through huge amounts of money in its effort to keep up with long-established automakers that have both the experience and funds to make a success of it in the long term.

Digital Trends has contacted Dyson for comment on its decision to end the development of its electric car and, we will update this article if we hear back.

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Trevor Mogg
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