James Dyson is terminating his electric car project. The British entrepreneur announced the news in an all-staff email on Thursday, a copy of which was obtained by The Verge, saying that he and his board of directors decided to stop the effort after unsuccessfully trying to find a buyer. Going forward, Dyson says his company will “concentrate on the formidable task of manufacturing solid-state batteries” as well as other “fundamental” technologies like vision systems, robotics, machine learning, and AI.
“The Dyson automotive team has developed a fantastic car: they have been ingenious in their approach while remaining faithful to our philosophies,” Dyson wrote in the email. “However, though we have tried very hard throughout the development process we simply can no longer see a way to make it commercially viable.”
Dyson was supposed to unveil the electric car in 2020, but last year, the date got pushed back to 2021 when he announced his company would build a manufacturing plant in Singapore. Dyson teased the idea of creating a whole lineup of vehicles carrying his name, and his company was working on developing solid-state batteries for the EV.
Dyson had nearly 600 people working on the electric car project, which was announced in 2017. In his email, Dyson said he and his team 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.” If Dyson can’t find new roles for employees or they don’t wish to stay with the company, he said the company 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 wrote. “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.”