Automotive

Published on May 18th, 2020 | by Subhash Nair

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Dyson Reveals Their Cancelled Electric Car Prototype

Back in 2017, Dyson surprised the automotive world by announcing that they would be creating their very own electric car. By 2018, they selected Singapore as a site for their auto factory. However, by October of 2019, the entire project was scrapped, and Dyson shelved the idea. Well, James Dyson has now revealed a few details and photos in an exclusive interview with The Times. You can read the full interview here, but without a subscription the content is hidden behind a paywall.

credit: The Times

In the interview, a few very interesting details were unveiled. Dyson hadn’t yet settled on a model name, so the project was codenamed ‘N526’. Sounds almost like a vacuum cleaner model. Apparently there was at least one prototype of the vehicle in Wiltshire, and James Dyson himself has driven the car.

The interview revealed some technical specifications about the N526. It was imagined as a 7-seater SUV. It was 5 metres long, 2 metres wide and 1.7 metres tall. Two electric motors would deliver propulsion and the system would be equipped to output an impressive 536hp and 650Nm of torque.

This would enable an impressive 0-100km/h acceleration time of 4.8 seconds. Given the SUV’s alleged 2.6 tonne weight, it was still a tad slower than the Model S. However, its range was truly impressive. Dyson claims they would have been able to deliver over 965km on a single charge. And this was with the climate control and radio on doing over 110km/h. Tesla’s best Model S today does about 610km.

The secret to the N526’s excellent range was in its batteries. Dyson, being a company centred around invention, had patented their very own ‘solid state’ batteries. Besides being able to deliver longer range drives, these Dyson batteries would operate efficiently in freezing weather, something lithium ion batteries sometimes struggle with.

Credit: The Times

So, with such an impressive prototype, why didn’t Dyson go ahead with the project? Well, because they would have to sell their electric cars at £150,000 just to break even. That’s nearly RM800,000 before duties and taxes. It was probably too much of a gamble for a brand normally associated with vacuum cleaners and other home appliances.

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James Dyson allegedly poured £500 million of his own personal fortune into the project. But don’t worry, he was recently put on top a list of the UK’s richest people. He says the company is still keen supplying their batteries in automotive applications, but won’t look to enter the automotive industry until electric vehicles becomes much, much cheaper to produce.

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