Dyson Quits Electric Car Effort

Maybe $2.5 Billion Wasn't Enough

James Dyson built a phenomenal consumer products business starting with a namesake vacuum cleaner. In 2017 he told the world that his company had allocated a budget of $2.5 billion to develop an electric car. Two years later Dyson now says that his team of 523 people succeeded in creating a "fantastic car" but that he can "no longer see a way to make [the car] commercially viable." He's throwing in the wrench and reassigning the team to work in other areas of his business. Read the full story at Wired.com

The car business has always been brutal and hugely expensive. While Tesla lost $700 million in the first quarter of 2019, old school car makers like Volkswagen, Daimler, General Motors, and Honda continue with plans to spend a combined total of $300 billion on the technology in the next 5-10 years.

Independent inventors who want to work in this field have a tough road. Heavy money creates intense pressure on developers and their ability to consider fanciful ideas, even when they have merit, is essentially zero. There are also concerns, as always with big tech, about being exposed to claims from an outside inventor that he or she invented technology the company is already working on. Getting even the leading edge of razor blade under the door is tough, never mind a foot or an actual audience.

If you have an idea for the overall car itself, forget about it. But if you have a concept for a component of the car, you might try contacting a supplier who would make the sub-assembly (or accessory) on behalf of the car manufacturer. If you do go that route you will want to have the the concept developed to the prototype stage so that it can be tested and proven to work. Pretty pictures and a provisional patent won't do the trick.

- Mike Marks

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