Electric Car News Roundup – 27

electric car news

Dyson Has Scrapped Its Electric Car Project 

Dyson, famed for its success in premium home appliances, has announced that it will be scrapping its electric car project.  James Dyson, the inventor, said the engineers had developed a “fantastic electric car’ but that it would not hit the roads because it was not “commercially viable”.  

In October 2018 Dyson revealed plans to build the car at a new plant in Singapore.  It was expected to be completed next year with the first vehicles due in 2021. 

dyson electric car
Dyson Electric Car Drawing

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It was only the other day, that, we had written an article for the e-zoomed blog with an update on the Dyson electric car.  Though at the face of it, the news is a blow to the burgeoning electric vehicle sector, in reality, it is not quite as bad.  

Firstly, we at e-zoomed applaud James Dyson and his team for the vision and courage to try to develop an electric vehicle.  It is a firm reminder, even for those ‘magical Dyson hands’ that leveraging and translating success in one industry to another industry is never quite as simple.

The automotive sector is a challenging sector for even incumbent well established manufacturers, let alone new entrants.  The failure of Dyson to build a commercially viable electric car for the mass market, firmly puts in context the excellent achievements of Elon Musk.  One can truly appreciate the incredible achievement of Tesla Inc., in developing successfully, a new technology, product and company in a nascent sector. 

In fact, in the email to his team, James Dyson wrote “This is not a product failure, or a failure of a team, for whom this news will be hard to hear and digest. Their achievement have been immense – given the enormity and complexity of the project.”  

The key word here is ‘complexity’! In our opinion, it is, but natural, for companies to fail in a fast growing early stage industry.  This is simply the nature of innovation and risk for early entrants.  

For every Dyson that fail, there will be a number of Musk’s that will succeed. 

Nobel Prize In Chemistry Awarded For Lithium-Ion Batteries

The Nobel prize in chemistry has been awarded to three scientists for their work in developing lithium-ion batteries. John B Goodenough (professor at the University of Texas), M Stanley (professor at Binghamton University) and Akira Yoshino (professor at Meijo University) will receive an equal share of the 9 million Swedish Kronor (£740,000). Far lighter and more compact than earlier types of rechargeable batteries and able to hold their charge for longer, they are found in everything from mobile phones to laptops to electric cars. 

Winners: Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Winners: Nobel Prize in Chemistry (credit: Guardian)

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We, in the electric vehicle industry certainly agree with decision of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The success to date and the continued success of electric vehicles, is to a large extent underpinned by the maturity and performance of the battery technology.  The majority of electric cars use a lithium-ion battery. Over the past few years, we have witnessed a significant improvement in the performance, range and costs of EV batteries.  However, the impact of lithium-ion batteries is far more encompassing.  Battery storage technology has benefited from the improvement in lithium-ion batteries.  Even those of you, who do not own an electric car, have gained from the advancement in this technology.  Your laptop, mobile phones etc. are good examples.

In fact, there is a very good chance, that the device you are using to read this article has been powered a lithium-ion battery. 

We at e-zoomed are more than happy to assist you with all your EV needs to include:

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Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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