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The Dyson Battery Electric Vehicle (dyson.co.uk)
244 points by uptown 33 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 140 comments



It seems they really got out of their depth with this project. There are a lot of photos and videos of aesthetic things that (arguably) Dyson is good at such as the steering wheel user interface, the shaping of the wheel rims and the colour palettes for the paint job. But there is very little evidence of hard engineering, only one grainy video of the prototype car actually running (the other videos appearing to be the car running are definitely good quality renders).

As Elon Musk put it "For cars it's maybe 100 times harder to design the manufacturing system than the car itself." and I think as soon as it dawned on them the scale of the manufacturing process to build this car and all the precisely engineered systems they got cold feet. Yes conceptually a car is similar to a vacuum cleaner, there's a motor, a battery, a control system, a chassis and bodywork but they are in a completely different league in terms of the scale and engineering. A car needs to be able to run safely without faults for 8 hours a day 365 days a year whereas Dyson vacuum cleaners tend to have a lot of reliability problems even when using for an hour each week.


They also struggle with the culture of software.

From what I've heard from employees, software is looked down on by management and is not really something they 'get'. Things like app connectivity are after thoughts and not core to their products.

A good chunk of what makes a Tesla unique is the radically different software and digital user experience. Dyson (the company) are not ready to embrace the fast moving culture that enables that.


> From what I've heard from employees, software is looked down on by management and is not really something they 'get'. Things like app connectivity are after thoughts and not core to their products.

That is a surprise - of all the IoT devices I've owned Dyson's products have been the most rock solid and polished. Their mobile apps (on iOS at least) have been absolutely flawless, never requiring me to sign in again and again or having connectivity issues with WiFi. Their appliances also don't seem to do any funny stuff over DNS unlike some of the flakier stuff I've owned (one of which was making 20k DNS requests a day to a non-existent diagnostic server address on the local subnet).


> Things like app connectivity are after thoughts and not core to their products.

Good!

God help us the day something like a fan or a vacuum cleaner needs "app connectivity".


A good example of intelligent appliances would be like my Samsung washing machine... It had an error, so I called their support line. They asked me to hold down two buttons simultaneously, then put my phone near the door. It let out a 10s or so digital song, the kind that modems did in the 90s - that gave them an entire diagnostic, age, model etc, and they sent someone around as they knew I couldn't fix it. Pretty amazing stuff.


A counter example of an unintelligent washing machine:

My Whirlpool emitted a diagnostic puddle of water underneath it. I Googled the seal, ordered it from an independent supplier, and installed it myself.

It is now on its 25th year of use with us, and cost less than $400 when new.


While I, too, am using an ancient washing machine in my home, it's not exactly an apples to apples comparison. New washing machines use far less water and electricity than their older counterparts. They also remove more water during their spin cycle, reducing the amount of drying necessary. And if your dryer uses natural gas (as mine does), a newer washing machine will reduce your use of natural gas as well.


What kills me is that every feature you mention can be done without needing an app, an lcd, or the cloud, and the same thing applies to electric cars.

How much cheaper would an electric car like a tesla be if it didn't have autopilot, electronic keys, and LCDs everywhere? How much more secure would it be without an e-key to unlock it? I hope when I'm ready to buy an electric car I can find something like that.


I’m willing to bet the LCD screens and fancy hardware are a small part of the vehicle cost, esp. when compared to the batteries.

All software is expensive up front but near zero cost to deploy to each additional car.

At some number of cars sold the software costs becomes a rounding error.


Except when that software needs more than a microcontroller to run. The computers Tesla throws into the cars are not super cheap.


Car manufacturer tries to reduce penny costs for each parts literally. Good SoC/LCD are $$$.

Meanwhile, software is costs at once so traditional car manufactures uses cheaper chip and force programmers to write efficient code.


The physical hardware might be a drop in the ocean on a $100,000 car, but the software engineering for all the features they enable cannot be cheap.


I believe the Tesla Models 3 and Y's LCD screens were a cost cutting measure -- one LCD replaces dozens of smaller screens, switches, buttons, and indicators, as well as the PCBs and metal chassis to support them and the molded plastic to hide the PCBs and chassis.

It's probably also less engineering effort to put a set of controls on the screen than to design the corresponding physical controls.


I'll be interesting if the gadgetness continues once the cost to build an EV drops below a basic gasoline powered car.

My commute is 8 miles of which 6 is on a freeway. Doesn't feel like a burden. Unlike say a tech bro doing his 50 mile commute down 101. So I'm dubious an autopilot would be a big win from me.


I'm imagining your Whirlpool singing a happy diagnostic song while it wees on your floor


> Pretty amazing stuff.

Pretty terrible stuff. If it uses proprietary tones as a diagnostic code you can't diagnose and fix it out yourself.


A little bit of me thinks that smells like a smoke and mirrors show as an aid to selling. Last time we got a washing machine repaired was over decade ago and it didn't last long. Pretty quickly realized that replacing worked out cheaper especially if you don't throw money away on stuff like calgon every wash. Happy to buy cheaper dumb washing machines.


That's the opposite of a smart appliance to be honest.

You can use minimodem[1] to scream a file across the room from one computers speakers to another computers modem.

It's a cute trick but requires very little in the way of computation, and is a far cry from the bluetooth infested dumpster fire that is found in the modern app-controlled smart appliance offering.

It's also not significantly an improvement from giving your products clearly labeled short model names and having a two digit code on a 10c LED screen, preferably with a corrosponding entry in the manual. I'd happily give it up in exchange for a washing machine with minimal electronics, so that it will last 20 years and can be fixed with duct tape and epoxy.

[1]http://www.whence.com/minimodem/


I can see that being useful if the app said, "Replace O-ring AE-35. Press ORDER to order this part, INSTRUCTIONS for service information and diagrams, or SERVICE to schedule a service appointment."

But my guess is that pretty much every possible outcome of the diagnostic process is "Make sure an adult is home between noon and 6 PM next Tuesday to let the repair technician in." It's safe to say that empowering the consumer is pretty far down the list at Samsung's R&D department.


A web of sensors enabling diagnostics (few accelerometers, temp sensors, even more water-presence ones, maye even strain gauge, cabling, microcontroller with enough analog IO, intelligent motor controller, both BOM and labor) would offset any imaginable savings. At the end of the day the outcome is always "we will send someone". Sounds like a dog and pony show, expensive scam.


I agree it probably wouldn't result in a lower repair bill, but that's only one cost of appliance repair. The other major one, which isn't a big issue at the moment, but usually is... you have to be home when they come to service it.

Not everyone can work from home, so the shorter the visit the better. If the diagnostics are done remotely, they can arrive with the right parts and do the job more quickly since they already have a headstart from the diagnostics. Additionally, they should be able to complete the job in only one visit since they should already have the parts they need and not have to order them.

LG has a similar system too, and it makes sense for everyone. They save money on warranty repairs since their labor should be lower. Consumers save time on repairs for the same reason. They also get to drive repair work to the service company of their choice, which has benefits for them and has some pros and cons for the consumer.


The downside to "intelligent" appliances is that the added complexity of that intelligence is not free, it adds a lot of new potential failure modes, particularly when they are connected to a network. The benefits to adding it have to be significant to be worth it, at least for me to consider purchasing a smart appliance over a dumb one.


A "connected" fan definitely has its uses, especially if it can sense if I'm in the room or not.

"Connected" vacuums are already here, but they're called Roomba, not Dyson.


Dyson Eye 360: https://www.dyson.co.uk/robot-vacuums/dyson-360-heurist-over...

Although the connectivity with their app is a bit rubbish half the time!


True. Although, I have a secondhand fan / air purifier of theirs, and in theory the smart features of that are ideal - setting timers, voice control, etc.

But it's crippled by poor UI, only supporting Alexa, and an arbitrary limit of how many schedules you can set, etc.


We already have app connectivity for the robot vacuum cleaners.


sounds like you're experiencing technophobia


>A car needs to be able to run safely without faults for 8 hours a day 365 days a year whereas Dyson vacuum cleaners tend to have a lot of reliability problems even when using for an hour each week.

To be fair, we're talking about a British car here. The bar is lower.


Dyson should have gone with another manufacturer's EV platform for their first few cars, like Volkswagen's MEB platform:

https://jalopnik.com/volkswagen-wants-other-automakers-to-us...

https://jalopnik.com/the-fascinating-engineering-behind-vws-...

It wouldn't have been a Dyson from the ground up but it would have gotten their EV effort started at the lowest cost and they could have worked on their own in-house designs in the meantime.


If they had gone with MEB, what would they be bringing to the table? Dyson's bread & butter is electric motor design and you're suggesting they outsource that and instead build a shell around someone else's platform? Arguably that's their weakness.

Tesla started out with retrofitting their electric drive train into a Lotus Elise, that approach would have allowed Dyson to do what it does best.


> what would they be bringing to the table?

Brand and design.


So what would be the point?


The point would be to get their EV business started at the lowest cost.

MEB is a platform, not a car. There's plenty to do beyond the platform. Ford will be making an MEB car. Here are some of Volkswagen's planned MEB cars so far:

- VW ID.3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPjvgXWA78E

- VW ID.4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dh00utug10

- VW Space Vizzion: https://jalopnik.com/the-volkswagen-space-vizzion-brings-the...

- VW Buzz: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfKYr9sgxnw

- SEAT el-Born: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Evr55WN5XWo

- Skoda Enyaq: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLTBHGAv5aw

- Audi Q4 e-tron: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiwevzHsCbU

MEB is flexible enough to work with many makes and models of car. MEB is exactly the sort of platform a company new to the car business would want to start with.


Or perhaps the opposite. They could have designed a motor and battery package which other manufacturers could build into their own designs.

Thus they would get a start into electric vehicles without needing to invest in the entire production process. From there move to a Dyson branded car manufactured by one of their partners (designed by Dyson in collaboration with their partner) and then, if worthwhile, step up to manufacturing the entire car themselves.


I'm not sure electric cars are as deep as motor driven cars and obviously Dyson had the manufacturing of electric motors down to a fine art. I am pretty gutted they couldn't get an economy of scale to make it work, even if they had sold 100 at 250k a pop I think it might have grown and they might have followed the tesla model from luxury down to affordability.


Electric cars are as deep as you make them. I've watched several youtube videos showing disassembling some Zoe components, it's really impressive. Some models use parts of the motor as an inverter during charging.


Dude! This has got to be the same with software -- with software it's 100x harder to design the process than the software or at least an order of magnitude wouldn't you say?


My first thought was cooking. It's far easier to make a great meal once than repeatably in a restaurant on an assembly line.


> Electric cars are considerably more expensive to make and manufacturers are making big losses on the sale of each car.

This is rather disingenuous. The Model 3 was one of the most popular new cars sold in the UK last year, Tesla isn’t losing money on those sales. You can’t do a market analysis that ignores the main competitor.

If I had to hazard a guess, the real reason James Dyson pulled the plug is a) EV development and tooling for manufacturer is hugely expensive, and b) Dyson is private, and James Dyson doesn’t want to accept investment or inject his own capital into the effort.


I agree that the comment is disingenuous, however, I believe the problem for Dyson was that the car he wanted to make was just too expensive. It's not necessarily the case that all electric vehicles are too expensive (and clearly when you look at the EVs in SE Asia, there are some pretty cheap cars). I'd be surprised if he didn't already anticipate the upfront costs. I think it's more that having made the prototype, he realised he couldn't make a product that will disrupt the market at a reasonable price and therefore threw in the towel.


> he realised he couldn't make a product that will disrupt the market at a reasonable price

Dyson's whole lifelong strategy is to disrupt the product and the price. When his vacuum cleaner came out the price was astronomically expensive. People were dumfounded - who would pay so much? But the product was better and people accepted the new price. It still seems high today but it was so successful it somewhat permanently moved the needle on what people think was reasonable.

He also tried this with: fans, washing machines, hair dryers, hand dryers. Some less successful, but an unexpectedly or apparently unreasonably high price is probably deliberately part of his approach.


This is very true: and it's also the Tesla strategy. Which is a problem for Dyson because there's already an expensive premium product in the market.


The crucial difference between those markets and the auto market is that consumers already have an idea of the value of autos across the range of prices. Even a teenager tooling around in a used Civic could tell you why his car cost $4000 and why a Lambo is 6 figures. Meanwhile, while I'm sure there were luxury or industrial vacuums, fans, etc., before Dyson's, most couldn't tell you their cost, nor what features justified that cost, to Dyson's advantage. With cars, though, he can't just say, "These are the features you'll get, and this is what I'll sell it to you for," because people will just point to other, similarly-priced cars and say, "How come it doesn't have [premium feature] like this one?".


Maybe the problem is that cars can't be compared to household appliances when it comes to consumer behavior. Spending more for an appliance that you believe will last longer and be more powerful then a cheaper variation might feel like a smart buy. There are so many more variables when buying a car however.


I think the scale of the products also plays a big part. A $500 hair dryer is really expensive (and for a hair dryer!), but $500 is the kind of money a lot of people have around, or could pull together if they wanted to. If you have a car that's 10x more than a 'normal' car you're looking at $200k+ which is not a price that's accessible to a huge majority of people. In other words, the dyson model of 'make something better and charge way more for it' doesn't seem to fit particularly well to cars because you end up with no market.


> he realised he couldn't make a product that will disrupt the market at a reasonable price

Most likely because of batteries. He doesn’t have volume to build his own battery factories, but buying in small quantities makes his cars expensive. Now if car you are trying to sell is more expensive than Model X or Cybertruck, customers naturally would ask “Why?”


"The Model 3 was one of the most popular new cars sold in the UK last year"

I think that's overstating things a bit, it's not even in the top ten?

https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/industry/10-best-selling-...

NB They did do very well in April this year, but that's perhaps a bit of an unusual situation!


One could interpret that as "one of the most popular newly-available cars"? If I understand correctly, Model 3 only became available to buy in the UK mid-2019. It's an odd reading, but not impossible.


Tesla has certainly lost money on every sale to date when you consider what they have spent designing the cars and creating the capacity to mass produce them. They may now have unit costs that will allow them to eventually recoup that money and make a profit, but that doesn't just mean you can disregard all the initial capital.


That's not the way you consider manufacturing and accounting. You consider gross margins. You don't disregard the initial capital, you consider depreciation.


Right, but while Tesla has positive gross margins, they have never turned an annual profit (Positive GAAP Net Income).


This is the same as the people who complained that Amazon never turned a profit for many years. But it wasn't because they weren't making money per unit, it was because they were spending it all and then some on expansion.

If you make profitable cars and you want to make profitable cars and trucks then you spend all your car profits building a truck factory. In cash-based accounting that looks like losing money right up until the point that it turns into making twice as much.


Amazon did turn a profit for many years on an EBITDA basis. They reinvested that profit in R&D, but they could also have chosen to send those profits to the shareholders as dividends.

Tesla has not achieved profit on an EBIDTA basis, so it's not even remotely the same thing.


TSLA had positive EBIDTA in 2016, 2018 and 2019 (and Q1 2020).

https://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/tsla/financials


Tesla had positive non GAAP EBITDA, which means nothing.


That's the same for any economy of scale operation, ICE powered cars included.


Then there is also Elon's bonus, which is actually bigger than all of the profit Tesla has ever made during its entire existence.

But remember folks, we love Elon. That's not evil capitalism or greed, it's Elon. He launches rockets! That's the model for model CEOs to follow. We need more Elons!


> Dyson is private, and James Dyson doesn’t want to accept investment or inject his own capital into the effort.

I think this is it. It's not that Dyson couldn't have made an EV. It's more that this would have been an iPhone or Tesla moment for the company where they would have had to bet the farm and that's something only two billionnaires so far have shown any ability to stomach. Pity, (armchair quarter-backing here) I think they could have done it, but it would have taken years off James Dyson himself to get the thing over the line.


Agreed, a couple of billion will give you a nice EV design but a car is a hugely more complex and expensive product to manufacture at scale at a competitive price than a fan or cleaner.


Fully laden cost, cancer treatment etc, its cheaper but consumers and governments don't think like that. We will continue to treat cancer with socialism and car exhaust with capitalism but some day I hope they converge.


Vehicles are weird. I feel like we try to jam all use cases into one, when I really need three different things:

1/ To go to work and back. Same route everyday. Not very long. Currently use a bicycle, but I’ve used mass transit for these very common in-out routes in the past.

2/ Small local journeys. I can’t collect 6kg of wheat from the local farm with a bike or a bus. Taxi is viable if I could get them to wait 20 minutes while I hang around the farm, or perhaps I could use two taxis to get out and back, which seems wasteful and the market for getting a cab from the country back to the city is challenging vs the city to countryside version.

3/ Long distance journeys. City to city is easy and pleasant with mass transit. Harder with a family and luggage, especially if the destination is not in a town or city. Personal vehicle works well here, and it’s getting more common to be doing long distance journeys from suburbia to non-city destinations, for me.

It felt like I could do without a personal vehicle for a long time. I bought a petrol car five years ago and finally live somewhere where I need it as of two years ago.

Now that we’re all potentially migrating away from big cities (a real trend I see, albeit anecdotally) I feel like my ideal fleet of personal vehicles would be:

a/ big lovely slow commute bicycle

b/ local BEV for cargo

c/ something else for long range

What would be fantastic would be to combine b and c. Something where I could carry a few kg of 18650s for a 10 mile errand range, and load it up with 1000kg of cells for a 400 mile round trip (or 500kg if my parents would foot the bill to recharge the long-range incarnation of my mythical modular BEV, something which feels socially unviable with anything other than trips to see close family.)


How about a battery electric cargo bicycle? Like a Tern GSD ($$$) or Radwagon ($)?

The tern gsd can carry 180 kg of cargo and has detachable batteries, so that at least gives you the option of bringing extra batteries for long range. Or haul people or wheat.


I'm a huge fan of the concept of super-lightweight EVs. I still think something like the ELF [https://organictransit.com/] is one of the best ideas in this space, and I hope someone takes over the brand or concept and figures out how to market it better.

This needs robust offerings for both lower-end and higher-end models, but it's hard to say which should be initially focused on these days. My instinct is to go for the low end & maximize volume. There has to be a sweet spot between usefulness and affordability. As has been pointed out elsewhere in this thread, designing for modular upgrades would probably help.


I already like the sound of the GSD — Get Stuff Done, apparently.


6kg of wheat is well within pannier/backpack/cargo bike range. 60kg wouldn't be.

If we ever get small "flow" batteries viable then the range problem can be solved cheaply, but even at the moment the 200 mile range is pretty good if you're prepared to stop slightly more often.


Could #2 be covered by a car club / rental-by-the-hour kind of thing? ZipCar in the UK is about £8-10/hour with no monthly, so if you're not making the journey frequently that could be suitable? Obviously requires an available car nearby though.


Zipcar isn't profitable because it hasn't really hit critical mass. The zipcar in my street is used maybe only 2 hours per week. It just feels too expensive to use. Also, the fact you can't just park it anywhere when you're done...

I wonder if perhaps some kind of "Pay £100 to have unlimited car use for the month" type scheme might work better?


It would be difficult to arrange that price-point. Once you've told someone they have unlimited use, they're going to reserve it 24/7, at which point you need to be charging them the full lease-price plus your margin.


Do away with reservations - if you aren't sitting in the driver's seat, someone else can use it.

The price point has to be low enough to look like a good deal compared to owning, insuring, and maintaining a cheap 2nd hand car for occasional use.

Maybe my £100 proposal needs a surcharge for driving outside the city boundaries to prevent roadtrip a.


The biggest bill in our time in the UK was the car rental for 1.5 weeks. Something like £1,000, and petrol cost us around £400. I couldn't imagine owning a car in the UK and living in a rural area. I certainly wouldn't want to commute to work via car if I lived there.


B and C were solved by plug-in hybrids; on electricity they would do up to 50 miles (or thereabouts) which is fine for the errands you mentioned, and when more power or range is required the ICE is fired up.

Hybrids and plug-in hybrids have all but died though, now that they're no longer subsidized, and as it turns out they're not actually that good at carbon emissions.


Moved company to Singapore to pay less taxes while pushing for Brexit because UK's lost sovereignty and the "EU tax". Good vacuums but he's a douche.


Good vacuums? Where? Reliability issues and the plastic chassis broke not long after purchase. I won't pay the premium again, that's for sure.


I agree, have you ever seen a cleaning company use a Dyson vacuum cleaner? If they were the best and most reliable then they would all be using them.


Yep. They all use Numatic units here these days.


And they are made in the UK still, unlike Dyson.


I've seen Disney use the stick vacuums at Disney World hotels.


My wife bought two. I couldn't convince her otherwise. They are a marketing company masquerading as a vacuum company, and she fell for it. They cost about 500% of the other vacuums they are comparable to.

I saw the headline about Dyson making electric vehicle batteries. I clicked the link. I was not surprised by what I saw. Yep, anybody can solder a bunch of panasonic cells together. I wonder if their packs will come in a futuristic looking plastic mold and cost 500% premium.

If you want a good vacuum, I'm quite happy with my Shark.


Totally, have a V-something cordless and the whole thing is just plastic. Even the hinges and stressed parts on the charging dock, I'm just waiting for it to snap.


Their design mantra seems to be "plastic everything".

I could understand if they did it to keep prices low... But they aren't cheap products.

I could maybe understand it if they did it to keep things light or eco-friendly, but dysons structural plastic parts are thick and heavier than a metal equivilent part.


Same. Motor and general engineering seem to be sound but oh so much weak, creaky plastic.

It’s a shame there seems to be nothing better in a similar form factor. Clearly possible at the price.


Unfortunately their marketing success has led to others copying them.

We went through two Hoover brand vacuums, same crap.


My father's Dyson vacuum is like 15+ years old. He hid it in the trunk of his car during the divorce. Still enjoys using it. I have a battery powered stick vacuum that's 4+ years old by now and still runs great.


I really don't get the Dyson hate for their vacuums, are the newer models rubbish or something?

My folks have old the DC02 (bought in 1996 or so and still running) and I own the DC25 (11 years on and still works great).


Sadly, will not go to production:

“We never normally show our aborted projects, however, it felt right to give a glimpse of the Dyson car to show what the team achieved.”

https://twitter.com/Dyson/status/1268144470589165570


They claim their batteries are very good so they might end up licensing them to battery manufacturers.


This seems to me to be becoming the standard failed car startup “face save” excuse. Couldn’t make a car, but by George we can sell some slightly differently shaped batteries we patented!

I’ll believe it when we see it.


The only way to be successful with EVs is to have substantial scale and that scale needs 10’s of billions of dollars, which means public markets or huge private rounds which also means dilution. Many things that are probably unpalatable to Mr.Dyson.


Sadly, I think in trying to make an EV fit into a market full of ICE cars has blinded the public, designers, and engineers that a sedan is not the only form factor an EV can take. Something like the Renault Twizy[0] is an excellent use of EV tech. And it's technically classified as a moped or scooter.

For now we're constructing 2000kg wagons to move 200kg of cargo and that just doesn't seem efficient.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renault_Twizy


ALL the early green cars looked stupid like this or ultra futuristic and no-one wants them. Tesla came a long and made one that just made a good looking car.


And people have also stupidly convinced themselves that what they need is a petrol powered 4WD SUV that can climb mountains, ford rivers, carry groceries and commute to work. It must also be capable of doing the weekly cross country road trip, apparently. This can all be yours for 84 payments of $500/month.

No one wants EVs because of the same stupid question that gets asked and answered repeatedly, "this would be great, but what do I do when the battery runs out?"


I think the UK press would compare anything like that to the Sinclair C5, thus forming public opinion, and thus leaving the whole project dead in the water in the UK:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinclair_C5



$180K per car to manufacture is really quite expensive!


How did they manage to make it so expensive per car?!


Making a car cheap is the hard part. You have so many less known "luxury" manufacturers who will build cars on demand for tons of money. The scaling and cost management is the hard part.


It's Dyson, they reinvent common household items - vacuums, fans, etc - then multiply the price.


Have you seen their vacuums?


Dyson seems like a company/brand mired in being clever vs. actually creating anything of practical utility. We have a dyson stick vacuum thing that was ~$300 and it can't even pick up cheerios. The airblade hand dryer supposedly spreads something like 60x more germs than regular dryers and over 1000x more than regular warm air hand dryers.

This car thing apparently didn't work out.

$400 hair dryer?

$1,700 dyson roomba competitor?

I guess every brand has its fans but this is one I just don't get. I'll never purchase another dyson product after being bamboozled with that damn vacuum.


You might be right about the germs, but the dyson hand dryers are a lot better at drying than regular ones.


How unfortunate it's not going to production. It probably would be a great Tesla contender at some point!


[flagged]


Dyson isn't going forward, so we don't have to worry about that


What makes you think that James Dyson does not fit that description?


Well he's never called someone a pedo on Twitter at least.



The subtitle on that last one is "Engineering firm has been told by the government that their services are no longer required" - not sure why that is Dyson's fault!


Of course there is more to the story. But think of it as "Sir, you need to leave this establishment" as merely the punchline to the tale.


You're just making things up.


I'm not sure how any of those are in any way comparable to calling an innocent man a pedo in front of thousands of followers.


You're right, they're more polite, and yet much more consequental bad actions.


There is an idea ... that driver-critical, frequently used information (like speed, temps, trip odometer, etc.) can be displayed, offset, in the center of the car.

You can see this "idea" deployed in the Tesla model 3.

This is a clownish, absurd idea that, were it not for actual, extant production examples would be mistaken for parody ... they would be assumed to be in jest.

If you are a designer and you think there is any positive value in this design, find a new job: you are a clown.


As someone who thought that that was exactly the reason I'd "never" by a Model 3, but then bought one and now daily drive it...

I'll say that those things (speed, temps, trip odometer) rarely seem driver-critical to me.

* When driving, you typically norm your speed relative to those around you, right? You can easily glance over and see the speedometer if you need to if you're alone on the road and worried about speeding (or you could just flick the right-hand control stalk down and let the cruise control engage).

* What temperature is driver-critical in a BEV? If we're talking about internal air temp, if you're hot, make it cooler; if you're cool, make it hotter. Who cares what the actual number is?

* Trip odometer seems even further from driver-critical. It's visible with a swipe from the big screen, but I've only checked it once in 18 months of owning the car; in fact, I've never even reset it. I guess it still exists for a reason (when young, we used to use them as a backup to an inaccurate gas gauge in an old Volvo, but now you have much more accurate info on-screen.


There are plenty of Japanese cars that have been doing this for decades to reduce the complexity of RHD vs LHD.


If you put these functions in the middle of the car you can make an opposite-handed-drive model for cheaper.


The video that says "See the Dyson car on the road" is so strangely fake.

So you're driving down 6th ave away from the Madison Square Garden sign promoting the Knicks? There's not going to be a double yellow line because it's a one way street. Perfectly smooth road in Manhattan? Nope.

Here's what the area really looks like: https://www.google.com/maps/@40.7487638,-73.9922756,3a,75y,3...

Credit to whomever thought adding "Modells" would make it look more locally authentic though.


Understandable that they don't want to take this on, it's a massive undertaking beyond a lot of consumer products.

I do wish they could contract out some design or other manufacturers would consult with them. Reducing distraction with physical buttons on a steering wheel is so much more thoughtful than tossing in a touchscreen and pushing everything to software (I realize cars have some controls on the steering wheel, but it's not enough).

Every time I see a modern car I'm kind of shocked by how distracting the interior is. At least voice interfaces have improved somewhat.


Dyson is a con with a big marketing budget. I had their "revolutionary" cyclone nonsense for three years thinking I have a great vacuum, until my cleaner complained that literally everyone else had a decent vacuum cleaner and mine was useless. I bought a different one - it uses about a third of the energy, and usability and capability-wise it's on a different planet. And it's cheaper!

Not to mention the incredibly useless hand dryers in half of UK pubs.

Dyson is the perfect example of how if you strike the right(???) note with your marketing you can sell any crap at a premium price.


I don't know which of their hand dryers you're using, but we have the Airblade V at work and they're great. But you do need to have lots of air pressure; I've encountered some which somehow don't blow very hard, and they're only a little better than a standard dryer. You want one that's installed so that you can feel it flensing you every time you use it.


I quite enjoyed this exchange at the end

    I even took one on Blue Peter and demonstrated it to Anthea Turner!
    (embedded video @ 1:48)
    Anthea: What do the manufacturers think of it?
    James: Well they quite like it, but they're not doing anything about it.
    Anthea: Are steps being taken to do anything about it?
    James: Well no unfortunately we need to pass some laws so that people are forced to fit it.

--nothing like invoking the coercive power of the state to force things on others.


It's surprisingly not ridiculous looking. That's the downfall of so many electric cars.

It's not a good looking car, but so few are.


Strange there's no mention of the solid-state batteries, that may have given it an edge over competition.


I was hoping on some news on those, too. Only this sentence on the page that's interesting. Quote: The aluminium battery pack casing was flexible in design to allow for a variety of possible sizes and types of battery cell solution to be fitted throughout the life of the vehicle platform without the need for any significant re-engineering.


Such a flexible design in a part that is out of view and non-serviceable by the owner only adds avoidable costs to the total costs of manufacturing each car.


The Dyson Mains Electric vehicle suffered from range problems.


Can't trust Dyson with batteries, my worst experience ever. Ended my problems by ordering via AliExpress from China at one-tenth the price bought from Dyson.


Interesting how the battery container is a stressed member of the chassis, I don't think any other manufacturer is doing that.


In Teslas the battery container also is structural, or a stressed member of the chassis as you put it.

There are many aspects here copied from Tesla or coincidentally the same, although he conveniently leaves out mentioning that fact at any opportunity. For example the lowering of the car at speed... copied from Model S.


> For example the lowering of the car at speed... copied from Model S.

Many cars have adaptive suspension. It's not unique to Tesla.

Audi has taken the next step and has implemented predictive suspension:

https://www.motor1.com/news/360532/audi-a8-predictive-air-su...


Are you sure Tesla batteries are structural? They don’t look it and I haven’t heard that claimed before. Lowering at speed has been around for a long time it wasn’t invented by Tesla.


To your question yes, it’s well known and has been widely covered.

It’s always interesting to me that absence of knowledge of something is taken as a basis for believing that the thing is not happening.

Lowering not invented by Tesla, fair point. It seems I do the same thing too.


I feel like I know more than most people about it, I've seen Sandy Munro and Ritchie B Kidd tear them apart and talk about them, I've just googled tesla battery structural and found nothing. They are a thin metal stamping held up by a few bolts. The one in the Dyson pics looks like its built into a deep aluminium floorpan rather than being a separately cased item.


Photos on this page seem like James Dyson showing off pretty, custom car, he ordered his people to make for him personally.


So many bad design decisions, those seats are the worst though. Good luck cleaning out all those areas between cushions.


Why, they'd have had the perfect accessory for one of their vacuum cleaners to do just that!


I like the part where they project the wind tunnel flowlines on the physical model of the car

That looks like science


Must be some tech than can be repurposed/pivoted? Perhaps offered to other car companies?


why didn't they copy the Tesla strategy and start with a high-end electric sports car?


Among other reasons: 1) High end electrics are a very small market that is now overly crowded: Model III Performance, Model S Performance, Tesla Roadster (may never be produced, but in consideration of most high end buyers), Porsche Taycan, Audi E-Tron, BMW iX3, and more announced almost weekly. Almost none of these will do well given the limited market size for electric cars in this price range.

2). Dyson is proven and could raise capital if they needed to without a marketable proof of concept. They could have IPO'd a sub and raised money. Unlike when Tesla started, electric cars are now proven to work - maybe not in a profitable business model yet, but they are proven to work. They don't need to show off a high end sports car to prove this.


This is what Apple car would have looked like if Jobs was still alive.


And once you got in the car it would lock the doors and keep you a prisoner.

An Apple EV would only charge from Certified Apple electricity. Hell, Jobs would have required an Apple ICE to only accept fuel from an Apple gas station.




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