From vacuums to cars, Dyson could have had it all
The Dyson car can’t clean your home, dry your hands or cool your room but it can drive 600 miles on a single charge. That’s right, Britain’s own Sir James Dyson, the man behind the Dyson vacuum, hand dryer, hairdryer and bladeless fans, oh and the UK’s richest person, decided to take the company’s innovative lead to the automotive market. It didn’t turn out well in the end.
When Dyson does something they do it right. Their vacuums are known as the best, their hand dryers are in public restrooms around the world and their bladeless fans are some of the best in the market. James Dyson is known as an inventor. The unparalleled level of innovation and ingenuity is what has propelled the company’s products to the top of each respective market and James thought he could do it again in the automotive industry.
So, did Dyson make an electric car that could be called the best in the market? Quite possibly, but we’ll never see it.
Through the process of sinking £500 million of his own funds into the project, Sir Dyson and the Dyson team managed to create a 2.6-tonne 7-seat luxury SUV with an unbelievable 600-mile range! The only problem was that to be commercially viable, the car would have to be priced at around £150,000.
The Dyson car, more properly known as the ‘N526’, was a behemoth of a car. It was five metres long and the wheelbase was almost as long thanks to the unusual placement of the rear wheels, sitting as far back as possible. The wheels themselves were huge, like wagon wheels, to increase ground clearance and reduce rolling resistance.
It sure is massive but it’s certainly not a slow coach. Thanks to the two electric motors, the N526 is capable of 0-62mph in just 4.8 seconds, which is very fast considering it weighs 200kg more than the already-heavy Tesla Model X.
One of the main selling points (and likely the biggest cost to Dyson) was the highly-advanced battery tech and the enormous driving range of 600 miles. Dyson saw it as something to differentiate them from Tesla. No other electric car on the market can travel that far on a single charge, not even close, in fact.
Dyson’s long-term plan was to continue the development of solid-state battery technology which would be lighter, smaller and less costly than the lithium-ion batteries that are used today. That being said, the company may have binned the car project but the battery development is still continuing as the technology can be used in their other products.
Sir James Dyson has said: “We’re making batteries right now. They’ve been working well in the lab for some time and we’re manufacturing them in small numbers. So we’re nearly there. When we’re ready, we’ll launch them in a new product but I can’t say when.”
So yes, we could have had a Dyson car but for the same price as a McLaren 570S, it’s safe to say it probably wouldn’t have been a success. After spending £500 million of his own money and putting in a lot of hard work, Sir James Dyson finally reached the same conclusion.
When asked if he’d do anything differently, Dyson responded:
“I wouldn’t have started it, I suppose. But there’s nothing in the project I’d have done particularly differently. We wanted to be unique and have a very long-range car – and that’s what we created.”
We may never see a Dyson car but we could be seeing Dyson tech in the transport sector one day.
“Transport interests me: this is not an end to Dyson’s interest in mobility.”
Let us know what you think of the N526 Dyson EV in the comments!
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