The entrepreneur Sir James Dyson has written a revealing explanation into why he decided not to push ahead with the production of his N526 electric car.
Quoted from his new book on the website FastCompany.com he describes the whole process of producing his car, and maintains it was actually an extremely good, efficient concept.
“We wanted a car that was a pleasure to own, drive, and travel in,” he writes. “Every last detail mattered. The plug-in point for the battery recharger had to be as resolved, refined, and elegant as the seats, controls, and steering wheel. Heating and ventilation had to make the very best use of Dyson’s knowledge of airflow and low-energy use. And the batteries had to be the best we could offer, and then some. We looked forward to the day when we could replace lithium-ion batteries with solid-state batteries.”
He talks about the design explaining that with 24-inch wheels, it would use less energy. “The bigger the wheels, the less rolling resistance; and you can ride over bumps and potholes more easily. Rolling resistance consumes vital battery power and reduces efficiency and range. The placement and size of the wheels gave us some unexpected advantages in terms of comfort, especially over potholes and bumps.”
But, he says the numbers just did not add up, explaining that without supply agreements the main car companies have, he would have to pay suppliers 25% more for parts, and because he was planning to sell it direct rather than through dealers, the company would need storage facilities and financing deals in every country it sold in.
That, he explained meant it would be too expensive. “The fewer cars you make, the higher the cost per car,” he writes. “At a relatively low volume, we would have to sell the car at $210,000. There are not many people who will buy a car at this price.”
He concludes by saying the 2015 Dieselgate scandal meant that car companies really embraced EV technology, therefore, “Because of this shifting commercial sand, we made the decision to pull out of production at the last minute. N526 was a brilliant car. Very efficient motors. Very aerodynamic. Wonderful to drive and be driven in. We just couldn’t ever have made money from it, and for all our enthusiasm, we weren’t prepared to risk the rest of Dyson.”
(Picture – Dyson)