Aston Martin CEO Questions Dyson’s EV Ambitions
Last year, Dyson, a company best known for its vacuum cleaners, announced plans to build an electric car. What was even more surprising than a vacuum cleaner company planning to build a car, however, is that Dyson said it would bring the car to market by 2020. That’s ambitious, and if you ask Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer, it’s probably a little too ambitious.
Speaking to Autocar, Palmer said he thinks Dyson CEO James Dyson may have underestimated how difficult it is to build an electric vehicle. “I wish him the best of luck,” Palmer said, “but on the numbers that have been reported, I know you won’t do it for that money, and you won’t do it in that timescale. At least, I know that I couldn’t.”
Aston Martin offers a consulting service, the not-so-creatively named Aston Martin Consulting, that provides design, engineering, and manufacturing services to various companies. According to Palmer, when it’s consulted on EV projects, one of the common themes has been companies not understanding how complicated the development process is.
“We’ve had discussions with about 10 of them,” he continued. “Every single one has underestimated the difficulty of engineering a car to a budget and to an aggressive timescale. Some of them will get there, but always over budget and late.”
Palmer’s experience isn’t limited to Aston Martin Consulting and the ultra-limited-edition RapidE, either. Before he joined Aston Martin, Palmer spent many years at Nissan, where, among other things, he oversaw the development of the Nissan Leaf.