The Dyson car would have used cylindrical lithium ion batteries, likely very similar to the batteries used by Tesla cars. Dyson did not reveal the battery size.
Twin electric motors would have produced a combined 536 hp and powered the car from 0 to 100 kph (62 mph) in 4.8 seconds, with a top speed of 200 kph (125 mph).
In the Sunday Times interview Dyson said established premium automakers such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz Audi are selling their electric cars at a loss. “When we started in 2014, we had good technology and a very efficient car with a long range. It was viable. But when, later other companies started production electric cars at a loss it became too risky for us,” he said.
The reason they are selling at a loss is to reduce average CO2 levels across their fleet and avoid European Union fines, he claimed. “I don’t have a fleet. I’ve got a make a profit on each car or I would jeopardize the whole company. In the end It was too risky,” he said.
The 150,000-pound price, while expensive, is not too far from that of high spec versions of the Model X, which can cost from over 120,000 pounds including optional extras.
The interior of the car highlights Dyson’s interest in improving car seats, which in his model are ribbed with a focus on side-support. “I hate those armchair-style seats you sink into,” Dyson said of conventional car seats.
Much of the dashboard information in the Dyson model would have been displayed as a hologram, possibly a version of the traditional head-up display.
Dyson hinted that he could market the company’s solid-state batteries to automakers when the batteries are ready. “Other people are developing solid state batteries. We may be the first. If what we are doing turns out to be suitable for other people, then that’s an option,” he said.
Dyson originally planned to fit solid-state batteries into later versions of his electric cars after starting with lithium ion. The company bought solid-state battery maker Sakti3 in 2015 but wrote off much of the investment in 2018. Dyson is still developing the technology, which promises a more energy dense battery with less need for cooling.
Dyson also did not rule out building another car. “I would not say no, but the commercial circumstances would have to be to right. The garage door never closes,” he said.
Many of the 500 people employed to develop the car have been found jobs elsewhere in the company, Dyson said.