Monday, November 30, 2020

"Singapore-Bound Billionaire James Dyson Plans $3.6 Billion Move Into Batteries And Robotics After Electric Car Failure"

 From Forbes, November 26:

Billionaire inventor Sir James Dyson has put his 2020 troubles behind him with the announcement of a $3.6 billion war chest to develop technology that will take Dyson products outside of the home for the very first time.

The British industrial designer best-known for his distinctive and much-loved household appliances–vacuum cleaners, hand dryers and hair straighteners–also confirmed long-standing plans to move his global head office from the U.K. to Singapore.

The most likely move for Dyson is further development of the powerful, long-life batteries, intended for its much-hyped but abandoned electric vehicle project that the billionaire was forced to shelve in October last year. Although specifics are yet to be confirmed, Dyson said in a statement today that it will “double” its portfolio of products and enter entirely new fields of innovation including robotics and machine learning by 2025. 

Electric Pivot

The announcement of a $3.6 billion “drive” for new technology products comes after a number of public setbacks for one of Britain’s best-known billionaire entrepreneurs. While October 2019 saw the end of dream to build a Dyson electric car, in 2020 he received a very public rejection from the U.K. government to build much-needed hospital ventilators during the height of the covid-19 pandemic in April.

However, not all was lost. Although Dyson’s failure to make a Union Jack-branded, cost-effective electric car failed spectacularly (costing the tycoon a reported $600 million of his own money in the process) the project was not without some significant engineering merit. Sir James’s team claimed to have developed a car battery with far greater range than competitors, including that of Elon Musk’s Tesla vehicles.....