Sir James Dyson has announced that a project to build electric cars has been scrapped. The inventor, best known for his vacuum cleaners, said engineers had developed a “fantastic electric car” but it was not commercially viable.
In an email to workers, Sir James Dyson said the company had unsuccessfully tried to find a buyer for the project, launched in 2017.
Sir James said the achievements of the engineering team had been “immense”, given the enormity and complexity of the project.
He said moves were under way to quickly find alternative roles within Dyson for as many of the hundreds of employees on the project as possible.
There were enough vacancies to absorb most of the employees into Dyson’s business, he said.
“For those who cannot, or do not wish to, find alternative roles, we 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 will continue its £2.5 billion investment programme into new technology and grow the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology.”
Sites including Malmesbury in Wiltshire, and Singapore will be expanded and the company will concentrate on the “formidable task” of manufacturing solid state batteries and other technologies.
He added: “In summary, our investment appetite is undiminished and we will continue to deepen our roots in both the UK and Singapore.”