Here’s Your First Look at the Dyson EV That Wasn’t Meant for This World
A lot of effort went into the project and A LOT of money, tooby Tudor Rus, on
Remember Dyson’s EV? We do, but not in a positive way. In October 2019, the ambitious project was shut down by James Dyson because he couldn’t figure out a way to make it commercially viable and not because of R&D struggles, as some initially believed.
Fast forward to May 2020 and we get a look at the car, but not because it debuted or anything, but because Mr. Dyson spoke to The Times (subscription required) and revealed some interesting details about the car.
Unsurprisingly, the Dyson EV would have been an SUV
Sir James Dyson, Britain’s richest man, spent £500m developing an electric car to rival Tesla’s. Then he scrapped it before the first prototype took to the road. He tells John Arlidge why https://t.co/mIVmVFnN6D
— The Sunday Times Magazine (@TheSTMagazine) May 17, 2020
Rhyme aside, SUVs were selling like hotcakes before the pandemic hit and they’re bound to recover quicker than sedans, wagons, and coupés once things get back to normal. So there’s nothing odd about Dyson going for a SUV-esque outer shell for its axed electric car.
Despite being made of aluminum, the seven-seat EV (codenamed N526) tipped the scales at around 2,600 kilos (5,732 pounds).
It was also five meters (16.4 feet) long, two meters (6.5 feet) wide, and 1.7 meters (5.5 feet) tall.
|Length||5 meters (16.4 feet)|
|Width||2 meters (6.5 feet)|
|Height||1.7 meters (5.5 feet)|
|Weight||2,600 kilos (5,732 pounds)|
To move that sort of mass, Dyson’s electric car was fitted with twin 200-kilowatt e-motors (536 horsepower) that did enough to help it reach a top speed of 125 mph (201 kph). 0-100 kph (62 mph) took 4.8 seconds courtesy of 480 pound-feet of instant torque and the outlet also reveals that Mr. Dyson drove the prototype "secretly in a screened-off compound."
|Motor||twin 200-kilowatt e-motors|
|Top Speed||125 mph|
|0 to 62 mph||4.8 seconds|
Almost twice the range of a Model X
And in case you’re wondering what range this thing had, get this: 600 miles "even on a freezing February night, on the naughty side of 70 mph on the motorway, with the heater on and the radio at full blast."
Of course, there's no way to verify those claims but Dyson says it got them through the use of its proprietary solid-battery tech.
So if that were true, the Dyson EV would easily trump the long-range Model X (314 miles of range on a full charge).
What did the Dyson EV’s R&D works entail?
First of all, a hefty investment. According to The Times, James Dyson injected no less than £500 million (roughly $605 million) into the project - out of his own money, that is. Regarding the number of people effectively involved in the two-year project (Dyson kicked it off back in 2017), the number revolves around some 500 engineers, designers, technicians, mechanics, and whatnot.
To add insult to injury, James Dyson spoke to Automotive News in the wake of the car’s cancellation and was adamant that "the Dyson Automotive team has developed a fantastic car; they have been ingenious in their approach while remaining faithful to our philosophies."
Dyson’s failure to get its EV on the market shows that coming up with a new car built from the ground up isn’t just about fat cash injections. PLENTY of things have to go the right way, including how the said car is going to be positioned in the market niche it targets, logistics, marketing, and so on and so forth.