Dyson’s EV would have had a range of 600 miles on a charge, had the British engineering firm not axed the project citing spiralling costs.
Revealed in an interview with The Sunday Times, James Dyson stated that the project has cost £500 million of his own money – with the project overall said to have cost £2 billion.
Code-named N526, the EV would have had the longest range of any electric car on the road should the project have continued and gone into production. Tesla’s Model S is the current long-distance record holder with almost 380 miles on a charge.
Impressively, Dyson reckons that the maximum range would have been possible “even on a freezing February night, on the naughty side of 70mph on the motorway, with the heater on and the radio at full blast”.
Other specifications have been revealed, with twin electric motors producing 400 kW and 650 Nm of torque allowing for a 0-62 mph time of 4.8 seconds and a top speed of 125 mph. That’s despite a kerb-weight of 2,600 kg.
The car in the above image is the first prototype to run, and was driven in a screened-off compound by Dyson. It gives a clear look at a number of styling features, with a relatively low roof-line despite the SUV-like design.
The interior shows greater levels of ‘Dyson design’, with thin but bolstered seats, a rounded headrest, and no dials – instead the driver would have had all information displayed on a head-up display.
Interestingly, as buyers are becoming increasingly concerned about large, distracting screens fitted to cars, there appears to be no conventional screens or controls of any kind, other than the steering wheel – how this would have panned out in a production version, we shall never know.
Images top and above courtesy of The Sunday Times
James Dyson is quoted in the article as saying: “There’s huge sadness and disappointment. Ours is a life of risk and of failure. We try things and they fail. Life isn’t easy.”
Dr Ben Lane, CTO at Zap-Map, comments: “When you cast your eyes on this electric car, I think you are looking at the biggest missed tech opportunity in recent history.
“The reasons it never saw the light of day were in part, I believe, to the perfectionist standards of one the world’s greatest design and engineering team (who could not contemplate building a car which was only just good enough), and also because Dyson would not risk his £16 billion fortune for a seat at the global automotive table.
“It is my opinion that, if the company had launched a high-end, 300-mile, 5-seater as a first product, initially at a loss, its later models would have eventually turned a profit buoyed by accelerating EV sales and global production.
“Not only that, Dyson would have created a world-leading UK-based automotive brand that could have rivalled Tesla, and would have become one of the major automotive players of the next century. It seems to me that he missed his chance.”