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Dyson bags its electric car program, cites lack of commercial feasibility

The company has, so far, been unable to find a buyer for the project as well.

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So long, Dyson electric car. We hardly knew ye.
SOPA Images/Getty Images

The Dyson electric car is dead. Company founder James Dyson said in an email sent to all employees today that the British firm will abandon work on its ambitious electric vehicle that was planned for production in Singapore starting in 2021.

Dyson, best known for bagless vacuums and hair dryers, made a splash in 2018 when it announced intentions to bring an electric car to market.

A company spokesperson told Roadshow that Dyson employed over 500 engineers on the program and the firm remains incredibly proud of the work completed. The $2.5 billion investment for the electric car will now be funneled back into its core technology, such as artificial intelligence and robotics, the representative added, before saying, "There's still a lot more to come."

Dyson declined to comment on ongoing construction at the Singapore facility meant to produce the electric car, or what will become of it.

In the email, Sir Dyson urged employees not to view the end of the project as a failure and underscored how much effort went into trying to bring the electric car to market. "We simply can no longer see a way to make it commercially viable," he wrote in part. The company also confirmed it sought a buyer for the EV project, but Dyson has been unsuccessful so far.

As for the engineers and other employees that have spent years working on the electric car, Dyson will work to bring them back into the company in new roles. The internal email cited sufficient vacancies within the company for those who will now exit their roles on the auto team.

Although a physical car is now off the table, Dyson still plans to pursue related electric vehicle and self-driving car technologies. Solid-state batteries, sensors and vision systems are a few of the areas mentioned in the email that will become new focuses at the company.

Little is known about what shape the Dyson electric car would have taken. Dyson previously said it would not be an inexpensive machine, and wouldn't fill the role of a sports car. Now, the world will never know if Dyson had the chops to build a world-beating EV. At a minimum, it sounds like the car certainly wouldn't have sucked.