LONDON -- British inventor and entrepreneur James Dyson said he killed off his electric car project after it became clear he would have to charge over 150,000 pounds ($181,885) for the vehicle to make a profit on it
The billionaire businessman said in 2017 that he planned to develop and sell an EV by 2021, creating anticipation that he might shake up the car industry the same way as he had disrupted the household appliance market with his bagless vacuum cleaner.
Dyson canceled the car last year, saying the project was being scrapped because it was not commercially viable, not because of any failures in research and development.
In his first public comments since the cancelation, Dyson told the Sunday Times that the project cost him 500 million pounds ($607 million) of his own money. "There's huge sadness and disappointment. Ours is a life of risk and of failure. We try things and they fail," he said in an interview published on Sunday.
Dyson, 75, is Britain's richest man, with a worth of 16.2 billion pounds, according to the Sunday Times.
Dyson had hired talent from across the industry for the project, including former BMW and Infiniti executive Roland Krueger. He planned to invest 2.5 billion pounds to develop the car and build it in a new factory in Singapore.
The Sunday Times interview included a profile picture of a seven-seat SUV that Dyson was developing, as well as its minimalist interior.
The specifications reveal that the closest direct rival to the car would have been the Tesla Model X SUV.
The Dyson EV, codenamed N526, was to be almost identical in size to the Model X at 5000mm long, 1700mm tall and 2000mm wide. The car's 2,600 kg weight was almost identical to the long version of the Tesla Model X.
Dyson claimed its driving range on a single charge was 600 miles (966 km). The Model X has a range of 314 miles as measured on the WLTP cycle. Dyson did not disclose the range testing method for his car.