And So We Drive

Fortune: "Inside James Dyson’s Costly Decision to Kill His Electric Car"

Jeremy Kahn, profiling the Dyson electric car project for Fortune.

“It just wasn’t commercially viable,” he said, in an exclusive interview with Fortune the day after news broke of the car’s demise. Although Dyson’s crack auto team successfully created an innovative new car, he wasn’t willing to price it below cost, as he believes the competition is doing. “It’s a tragedy, really, because our engineers have done a brilliant job.”

[...]

In the meantime, there are already hints that the company’s automotive efforts won’t be wasted.

In a windowless industrial shed being constructed behind Dyson’s striking mirrored-glass D9 research lab, the company has built the largest advanced prototyping lab for solid-state batteries in Europe. Beyond EVs, solid-state batteries have potential uses in everything from mobile phones to consumer electronics to aircraft. And Dyson says it will continue its investment in them. “We think we’ve got something that is groundbreaking and revolutionary,” says Mike Rendall, Dyson’s head of energy storage industrialization. Called D9A, the new battery prototyping facility should enable Dyson “to bring solid-state batteries to market as soon as possible,” Rendall says.

Despite its “cancellation,” I still think its at least even odds that Dyson winds up one of the big winners from electrification.

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by Tyler Carbone