The Dyson Electric Car That Almost Was…Is Revealed
Remember when the coolest vacuum-, hairdryer- and bladeless-fan-maker, Dyson, tried to make and sell an electric car but then scrapped it? Well, the problem wasn’t that they didn’t know how to make one, but that it would have been too costly for the average car owner. The founder, Sir James Dyson, revealed that he has invested £500 million of his own money into the project. Well, even if he doesn’t get to make more money, he earns some bragging rights by finally unveiling the Dyson electric car that could have rivalled Tesla’s Model X.
The Dyson car is revealed to be an all-electric seven-seater SUV with an aluminium body, measuring 15 by 6 feet. The claimed output of 400kW and 650Nm would have been able to propel the car from 0 to 62mph in 4.8 seconds and onto a top speed of 125mph. It has an impressive range of 600 miles, twice the range of the Model X.
If the generous range wasn’t enough, the car had plenty of unique characteristics to make it a stand-out, much like Dyson’s other inventions. The driver would never have to take their eyes off the road thanks to a heads-up display that “floats in front of your face like a hologram”.
But for Dyson to make and sell a car like that, they would have had to price it at £150,000 which is far from competitive. Dyson claims that big carmakers that currently have electric cars in their line-up are subsidising costs with sales of their conventional fossil-fueled-powered models.
Nonetheless, the Dyson car project was not all for nothing. We know that the electric car race is really a car battery race—the one that can design a battery that is cheaper, more efficient, lighter and can hold more on a single charge will win. Dyson could have been the first to develop a solid-state battery, which has all the characteristics aforementioned, for a car. While they might not have achieved their ambition of becoming a carmaker, they could end up making batteries for others who are or making money from licensing the technology.
So, don’t feel bad for Sir James for having invested so much of his own money. Really. Not just because he did gain new battery technology out of it and is going to make loads more money, he was also just named ‘the richest man in Britain’ by the Sunday Times Rich List, which details that he and his family is worth £16.2 billion. Uh-huh.