Dyson's eagerly-anticipated new electric car project has been canned after it was determined that it was no longer commercially viable.

The project, which would be bagless vacuum cleaner pioneer Sir James Dyson's first foray into the automotive industry, would have introduced three new electric cars, the first being due in 2021. As many as 500 engineers had been working on the project in the UK, although manufacturing was expected to take place in Singapore, despite there being no history of car production in the Asian city state.

2020 Dyson Sports Car

"The Dyson Automotive team has developed a fantastic car; they have been ingenious in their approach while remaining faithful to our philosophies," 72-year-old 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,."

According to a report by Automotive News Europe the email went on to say that Dyson had unsuccessfully sought a buyer for the project.

Building upon on its experience in developing battery and electric motor technology, Dyson's aim was to disrupt the automotive market, much like it had when it introduced its revolutionary bagless vacuum cleaners to the market in the 1990s.

Dyson had been confident that its electric car project would be a resounding success like its other ventures, but the axing of the firm's car plans suggests that the company perhaps underestimated the complexity of branching out into the automotive arena. Since the electric car revolution took hold, Tesla has been the only company to have longevity and mainstream success, but even that has come with its own set of complications and financial difficulties.

Although Dyson will no longer be producing its own cars, the project isn't completely dead and buried. Dyson's cars were set to use solid-state batteries and it looks as if that technology may live on in other applications.

"Such an approach drives progress, but has never been an easy journey – the route to success is never linear," Dyson said of the company's change of plans. "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," he added.

The future of former BMW executive Roland Krueger, who was hired by Dyson to run the firm's car business earlier this year, is uncertain.

Gallery: Dyson electric car