Dyson, the technology company best known for its vacuum cleaners, short-lived electric car project started in 2017. At one point some 600 people at Dyson were working on it. In 2018, Dyson said it would build a manufacturing plant in Singapore to make the EVs, and was also working on developing solid-state batteries for the vehicle. But after spending £500 million (about $605 million) of his own money on the project, Sir James Dyson, the inventor, scrapped the EV plans last October.
While Dyson has killed its EV project, it kept most of its staff. Many of the 500 people working on the project are continuing to work on battery technology, robotics, air treatment, and lighting.
Now Dyson, 73, has revealed his doomed vehicle for the first time in an exclusive interview and photo for The Sunday Times Rich List, an annual league table of the wealthiest people in Britain. The 2020 Rich List coincidentally sees Dyson top the table for the first time, with an estimated £16.2bn fortune.
The Dyson electric car, codenamed N526 would have had a range of 965 km, almost twice that of what a Tesla can achieve. It would be powered by two 200 kW motors that output 543PS and 650 Nm which would get the N526 to 100 kmph from standstill in 4.8s. The top-speed was pegged at 201 kmph. The N526 was a seven-seater SUV, but larger than the Tesla Model X. It was to be 5m long, 2m wide and 1.7m tall. The EV featured oversized wheels, a heavily raked windscreen and suicide doors. The interiors were finished in a minimalistic, geometric design.
Even though the Dyson car is no more, its spirit lives on. The founder said the 500-strong team are already working on various other projects, and that he is open to the idea of letting car makers tap into his company’s solid-state batteries, which are supposedly more efficient and compact than current lithium ion cells. As to whether the company would try making cars again some day, Dyson said only if it becomes commercially viable then.