BRITISH INVENTOR JAMES DYSON CANCELS EV PROJECT
James Dyson, the British inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner, has canceled an electric vehicle project because the plan was not commercially viable. Dyson said the project was not being closed due to any failures in r&d. "The Dyson Automotive team has developed a fantastic car; they have been ingenious in their approach while remaining faithful to our philosophies," Dyson said in an email to staff. "However, though we have tried very hard throughout the development process, we simply can no longer see a way to make it commercially viable."
The company had tried to find a buyer for the project but had not succeeded, he said.
Dyson aimed to bring three electric vehicles to market, with the first model due by 2021, building on its expertise in batteries and electric motors to develop EVs. He aimed to disrupt the auto industry in the same way that his vacuum cleaners caused a revolution in the domestic appliance market.
The Dyson company, which planned to use solid-state batteries to power the EVs, bet that its battery know-how would give it an edge in electric vehicles, but the closure of the project indicates it underestimated the complexity and cost of starting a car company from scratch.
Tesla Inc. is the only new large player that has broken into the EV market but it has consumed billions of dollars in investor capital and has yet to produce a full-year profit.
Dyson selected Singapore -- a country that does not have any existing car manufacturing - to build the car -- which was targeted at markets in China and elsewhere in Asia. Some 500 engineers were working on the project, mostly based at its site in Malmesbury and Hullavington in southwest England. Dyson said the company was working to find alternative roles for as many of them as possible within other areas of its business, which makes air purifiers, fans and, hairdryers as well as cleaners.
Although Dyson is closing its automotive division, it said it would continue to develop solid-state batteries, and other technology including vision systems, robotics, machine learning, and AI.
Dyson said the company had always taken risks and dared to challenge the status quo with new products and technologies, an approach that has paid off handsomely in vacuum cleaners.
"Such an approach drives progress, but has never been an easy journey – the route to success is never linear," he said. "This is not the first project which has changed direction and it will not be the last." "Our battery will benefit Dyson in a profound way and take us in exciting new directions," the 72-year-old founder said.
In January Dyson recruited former BMW and Infiniti executive Roland Krueger to head its electric-car business.
Source: Reuters, Blo0mber and Automotive News
DYSON BECOMES LATEST SIGN THAT ELECTRIC-CAR BUBBLE IS BURSTING
Dyson Ltd.’s sudden decision to scrap its $2.5 billion electric-vehicle ambitions is the latest reality check creeping into the once soaring EV industry. Dyson represents one of the most high-profile players to pull out of a sector that’s attracted hundreds of start-ups in recent years seeking to become the next Tesla Inc. But there are mounting signs that the bubble is bursting as China scales back handouts in the sector and competition heats up. Sanford C. Bernstein estimates that global EV sales fell for the first time ever in July and dropped by a record 23% in August.
USED CAR PRICES FALL IN SEPTEMBER
Falling used-car prices last month were a major contributor to subdued inflation for the U.S. economy. Auto analysts warn this could be a lasting trend with major negative implications for new-vehicle demand. The 1.6% monthly drop in used-car prices last month was the biggest decline in a year, a Labor Department report showed Thursday. The overall core consumer price index increased just 0.1% from the prior month, a smaller gain than expected.
VW’S U.S. CEO HAS SEEN THE FUTURE AND IT’S ALL ABOUT SUVS AND BEVS
The German automaker is hoping to rebuild its hip brand identity—while moving past the “god-awful stupid mistake” it made by rigging its diesel engines—with an array of new SUVs and BEVs set to roll out during the next several years, Volkswagen Group of America CEO Scott Keogh told TheDetroitBureau.com. While it’s far too early to tell how battery-electric vehicles like the ID Buzz microvan will fare in the market, there are signs that VW is regaining some of its luster.
SURGING SUV DEMAND IS SPOOKING GERMAN WORKERS BUILDING SEDANS
Demand for sport utility vehicles that initially took hold in America has spread across the globe, dramatically changing the product mix of carmakers along with their production footprint. Higher sales of the lucrative vehicles, while good for German manufacturers overall, threatens to hurt the workforce in factories at home that is heavily geared toward traditional sedans and hatchbacks.
CONSUMERS STAY WARY OF SELF-DRIVING, ELECTRIC VEHICLES
As auto manufacturers invest billions in impending autonomous vehicles and increased EV choices, many consumers question the new technologies. That’s according to J.D. Power’s 2019 Q3 Mobility Confidence Index Study. With the latest polling, the index now stands at 36 (on a 100-point scale) for self-driving vehicles and 55 for battery-electric vehicles. That’s identical to three months ago.
TATA LOOKS FOR JAGUAR LAND ROVER PARTNERS, BUT RULES OUT SALE
The Indian conglomerate that owns Jaguar Land Rover said it is open to finding partners for the automaker but isn’t planning on selling the embattled unit. “We’re not going to sell,” said Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons Ltd., the holding company in an expansive business empire that includes Tata Motors Ltd. “Auto is a core business for us. From revenue terms, auto is our largest company.”
NEW 2020 PORSCHE TAYCAN 4S WILL COST YOU LESS THAN A 911
Porsche's newest EV model will take an 80 percent charge in about 20 minutes
Porsche introduced the third iteration of its Taycan electric vehicle, called 4S, on Monday. It will cost ... well, not less than $100,000, but close at $105,150. The 2020 911 starts at $113,000, for what it’s worth.
The new model will come with a choice of two batteries, one (79.2 kWh) delivering 522 hp and one (93.4 kWh) delivering 563 hp. Porsche says both variants will get to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, and top speed is 155 mph.
The Taycan 4S has a smaller and lighter rear motor than the Taycan Turbo and Turbo S. The 300-amp inverter on the front is specific to it; the 600-amp rear inverter is the same as the Turbo. Like the rest of the line, the 4S has a two-speed transmission on the rear axle and all-wheel drive. It also has the same 0.22 coefficient of drag, the best in the Porsche lineup.
Every Taycan 4S gets adaptive air suspension and Porsche Active Suspension Management, or PASM, Porsche’s version of electronic damper control. Six-piston calipers slow the front discs, while a four-piston setup clamps on the rear. Maximum regenerative force, notes Porsche, is 0.39 g.
With the purchase of any Taycan, buyers get three years of free 30-minute charges at Electrify America locations, along with access to DC fast chargers at Porsche dealerships; in the U.S. customers can get their home chargers from Amazon. When plugged into the big, 800-volt charger, the Taycan can go from 5 percent charge to 80 percent in 22 minutes. Range is still being estimated, according to Porsche, but with the ranges for the Turbo and Turbo S at 256 miles and 279 miles, respectively, the smaller battery will probably deliver around 225 miles. The bigger battery is probably closer to the Turbo and S.
Inside, truly low-environmental-impact buyers will spec the leather-free interior, but standard cars will get partial cowhides, power seats, keyless entry, and ambient lighting. It’s a Porsche, so everything else will be an extra cost.
The 2020 Porsche Taycan goes on sale in the spring of 2020.
BIG HORSEPOWER – BIG FINE
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles faces a $79 million U.S. civil penalty for failing to meet 2017 fuel economy requirements. The Italian-American automaker paid $77.3 million last year for a 2016 model year fuel-economy shortfall and a company spokesman confirmed Wednesday the company has received a letter on the 2017 penalty and has 60 days to respond.