Dyson reveals details about scrapped £500m electric vehicle

James Dyson has revealed information about electric vehicle project, which was scrapped last year, which was an SUV model with a “hologram” dashboard.

James Dyson has revealed new information about his company’s failed electric car project, including performance details.

He revealed a prototype to the Sunday Times at the company’s new research centre in Wiltshire, UK.

Dyson car design details

The vehicle was known internally as N526. It is a seven-seater, electric SUV with a range of 600 miles. The car is 5m long, 2m wide and 1.7m tall. It weighs 2.6 tons and the body is made from aluminium. It ran on a lithium ion pack that would “have delivered 600 miles on a single charge”, Dyson says.

The car worked was powered by two 200kWh electric motors and had an acceleration of 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds, and could reach a top speed of 125 mph.

There would be room for seven adults, in three seating rows. The seats, described as “thin and firmly upholstered” aim to provide solid lumbar support, according to Dyson.

All the dashboard information, such as sat-nav and speed, “floats in front of your face like a hologram”, according to the Times.

James Dyson named Britain’s richest man

The details emerge as James Dyson is named Britain’s richest man, with a net worth of £16.2 billion (an increase of £3.6 billion in the past year). The car project cost Dyson £500m of his own money.

In October 2019, the company scrapped the project claiming that it was not “commercially viable”. Dyson expanded on this, saying that: “Electric cars are very expensive to make. The battery, battery management, electronics and cooling are much more expensive than an internal combustion engine.”

Each car would have had to have cost around £150,000 for the company to break even. Dyson claims that car manufacturers such as BMW, Mercedes and Audi are “making huge losses on every electric car they sell” but that they do it because it “lowers their average carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide emotions overall, helping them to comply with EU legislation”.

In the interview, Dyson said: “There’s huge sadness and disappointment. Ours is a life of risk and of failure. We try things and they fail. Life isn’t easy.”

Despite the failure of the project, Dyson says that many of the employees who were hired to work on the project have remained at the company, and are now working on products like batteries, robotics, air treatment and lighting.

Hide Comments (6)Show Comments (6)
  • Michael May 18, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    Shame James, you didn’t work backwards from an affordable price point that would solve a vital world issue ie pollution, rather than trying to create a luxury 7-seater road monster that we really don’t need as a species. Stop trying to build icons.

  • Alex May 19, 2020 at 8:26 am

    Blow £500m on a gold plated prosthetic d**k for the elite. Slow clap.

  • Carl St. James May 19, 2020 at 11:09 am

    There are a lot of patents here he could have licenced out to other car manufacturers to offset the cost of development in a similar way Google build their Pixel phones an an exemplar rather than a competitor to their licencees. It sounds like Dyson’s battery tech would have been a game changer for the EV market.

    He would easily have sold out of a limited run if he had say, partnered with Jaguar to come up with an electric version of an iconic classic like the Land Rover Defender. He could then have tasked his obviously talented design team to come up with a way of shrinking the cost, size and tech down to create a 21st Century family car in the vein of the classic Mini.

  • Sam Barone May 19, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    Better yet, how about an electric city bus with 600 mile range? We need that more than yet another electric car.

  • David Bleeker May 21, 2020 at 10:14 am

    ‘carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide’ emotions ???? How will that affect humanity?

  • Ettore Schioppa May 24, 2020 at 4:01 pm

    I agree with all the remarks of the comments posted! Another space guzzler in town! How the Renault Twizzy looks a solution.

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