The Sunday Times has revealed the details of the electric car that was developed from 2017 to 2019 by James Dyson, renowned for his constant suction vacuum cleaners, but which was ultimately abandoned.Known in development as the N526, around 600 people were said to be working on Dyson's electric car project. According to Dyson himself, this 7-seater electric SUV had dual 200kW motors, a maximum speed of 125 mph, could do 0-100 km/h in 4.8 seconds, and would have been able to travel up to 965 kilometers (600 miles) on a full charge. This driving range is about twice that of the Tesla Model X that would have been its rival, and was set to be achieved using a proprietary solid state battery.
Looking at the interior, its seats are narrow but with deep back support, while the dashboard uses an HUD to display information "in front of the driver's face, like a hologram". The futuristic design makes it look like a concept car on display at a motor show.
There is even a working prototype of the N526, and apparently Dyson personally carried out test drives in a concealed location. While he expresses "huge sadness and disappointment" at having cancelled development at such a late stage, Dyson is stoical about the results: "Ours is a life of risk and of failure. We try things and they fail. Life isn't easy."
Although Dyson invested around £500 million (approx. 64.8 billion yen) in this electric car project, he decided to abandon the project in October 2019, notifying employees that a commercially viable way of making it happen could not be found. Resources from the project are now focused on the difficult challenge of producing full solid state batteries. Dyson added that they would also be focusing on the development of "foundational" technologies such as machine learning.
Dyson this year also developed a new ventilator in response to the lack of supply in the face of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), but this too ended unfortunately, with the British government deeming it to be unnecessary.
This article was originally written in Japanese. All images and content are directly from the Japanese version at the time of publication.