Dyson withdraws from electric car project in Singapore
Asia Viewpoint: by Lim Chee Seng
News broke on Oct 11 that Dyson, the British company known for its household appliances such as vacuum cleaners and bladeless fans, decided to halt its electric car project in Singapore.
The company had announced its plan in September 2017 to venture into the electric car business by investing 2 billion pounds in the development and production of electric cars to alleviate air pollution problems caused by vehicle exhausts. In October 2018, Dyson selected Singapore as the place to construct its automotive plant for the production of electric cars and announced subsequently that it was moving its corporate head office from Britain to Singapore.
After working for some time in the developmental process, the company concluded that the project was not commercially viable and decided to stop the construction of the electric car plant.
Sources pointed out the new entrants to the electric car business face immense challenges not only in the form of substantial capital investment but also the need the establish a reliable supply chain and develop a sales and distribution network globally.
Besides Dyson, Singapore is in discussion with other makers with regard to the manufacture of electric cars. Although the use of electric cars in Singapore is still in its infancy stages, the country is putting in effort to combat air pollution. One measure implemented in February this year was an increase in diesel tax in an attempt to discourage the use of diesel vehicles.