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About Tesla Motors
One Thing We Can Agree On
Whether you‘re more concerned about global warming or about national security, there’s one thing we can probably agree on: our dependence on oil is dangerous and costly.
Right now 58 percent of our oil comes from other countries, so it’s practically inevitable our foreign policy principles will be held ransom by our need to maintain domestic economic stability. When you consider that 68 percent of our oil is used for transportation, Tesla Motors believes gasoline-free cars are an ideal solution to these issues. Even a hybrid car, which still burns gasoline and emits carbon dioxide, doesn‘t solve our oil-related problems, it just postpones them. If you look hard at the numbers, it’s clear that an electric car is the cleanest and most efficient kind of car in existence. We have done exhaustive “well to wheel” energy and emissions analyses, and the numbers are undeniable.
Electric “Punishment Cars”
Historically, it seemed to Tesla Motors that electric cars had been designed by people who thought we really shouldn’t be driving at all – but if we must, we should suffer every minute of it. Electric cars have had terrible range and embarrassing styling. To those who say electric cars have been tried and failed Tesla Motors says, of course electric cars won‘t catch on if no one actually wants to drive them.
We needed to change perceptions of electric vehicles in a big way. To make electric cars a viable alternative, Tesla Motors set out to build one that was gorgeous and thrilling to drive.
Their first car, the Tesla Roadster, isn’t a pipedream or a plan; this car exists now. It’s a no-compromise driver‘s car that does 0 to 60 mph in less than 4 second and will hit a top speed of nearly twice what the law permits. With a range of about 220 miles on a single charge, you can use it all day long and not worry you’ll run out of juice. Just plug it in at night the same way you drop your cell phone into its charger, and sleep well, without guilt.
Just the Beginning
While the Tesla Roadster’s sticker price is in a league with other high-performance sports cars with similar specs, Tesle Motors recognizes it’s out of reach for a lot of people. They consciously chose to develop a high-end sports car as our first car in order to develop the “performance DNA” from which we could create other electric vehicles. Their next model will leverage the Tesla Roadster‘s technology, resulting in a less expensive sports sedan that they can sell at higher volume.
Tesla Motors designs and sells high-performance, highly efficient electric sports cars — with no compromises. Tesla Motors cars combine style, acceleration, and handling with advanced technologies that make them among the quickest and the most energy-efficient cars on the road.
Ze’ev Drori is a successful high-tech entrepreneur and an experienced chief executive with the proven ability to create and manage companies with innovative products in both the high-tech and automotive sectors. He has more than 30 years of continual success and has demonstrated the ability to lead a company from conception to profitability and public offering.
The first company he founded was Monolithic Memories, a Silicon Valley semiconductor firm that pioneered fundamental advances in memory and logic technology, before being acquired by Advanced Micro Devices in 1987. Under his leadership, Monolithic introduced programmable read-only memory (PROM) and programmable array logic (PAL), which revolutionized many aspects of computer and electronic systems technology. As CEO through 1981, Ze’ev was responsible for R&D, manufacturing, marketing, finance, worldwide sales and overseas operations for product assembly. Ze’ev served as chairman of the board from 1981 through 1987.
After the sale of Monolithic Memories, Ze’ev purchased a controlling interest in Clifford Electronics, then a small start-up in auto security systems and the perfect combination of his twin passions for technology and automobiles. As chairman and CEO, he rapidly developed Clifford into the world’s leading automobile security company through significant innovations, such as remote control alarms and distribution relationships with domestic and international car manufacturers as well as a network of thousands of retail dealers. In 1999, Ze’ev sold Clifford Electronics to Allstate Insurance.
Competitive and focused, Ze’ev has taken up racing Formula cars, pitting his skills against young drivers aspiring to become professional racers. In his every pursuit, Ze’ev brings his passion and commitment, with an eye on the finish line, and translates that focus into a winning formula for technology companies.
The story of JB Straubel’s career started at a junkyard in Wisconsin, where, at the age of 14, he discovered a discarded electric golf cart and decided to rebuild it. Thus began a lifelong fascination with energy work and electric vehicles.
At Tesla Motors, JB oversees the technical and engineering design of the vehicles, focusing on the battery, motor, power electronics, and high-level software sub-systems. Additionally, he evaluates new technology, manages vehicle systems testing, and handles technical interface with key vendors.
Prior to Tesla Motors, JB was the CTO and co-founder of the aerospace firm, Volacom, which designed a specialized high-altitude electric aircraft platform using a novel power plant. At Volacom, JB invented and patented a new long-endurance hybrid electric propulsion concept that was later licensed to Boeing. Before Volacom, JB worked at Rosen Motors as a propulsion engineer developing a new hybrid electric vehicle drivetrain based on a micro turbine and a high-speed flywheel. JB was also part of the early team at Pentadyne, where he designed and built a first-generation 150kW power inverter, motor-generator controls, and magnetic bearing systems.
Armed with a bachelor’s in energy systems engineering and an master’s in energy engineering from Stanford University, JB left the cold winters of Wisconsin for good. He now lives in Menlo Park, Calif., where he continues to indulge his passion for electric transportation: he built an electric Porsche 944 that held a world EV racing record, a custom electric bicycle, and a pioneering hybrid trailer system. JB is also an accomplished pilot.
Throughout his career, Malcolm Powell has had the opportunity to drive some of the world’s most amazing cars – and what he found is that beauty and acceleration are no match for balance and responsiveness. Bringing with him the desire to make the driving experience more physically interactive and less remote, Malcolm oversees the integration of all constituent parts of a Tesla Motors vehicle, including packaging, testing, and legal approvals.
After graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Sheffield in the U.K., Malcolm’s first job landed him in the research department of Westland Helicopters, developing a remotely piloted surveillance helicopter. He then moved on to Ford of Europe, where he worked in the Special Vehicle Engineering division on “fun” cars (think small cars, big engines, all-wheel drive). Prior to joining Tesla Motors, Malcolm established an automotive design consultancy and then completed a 17-year stint at Group Lotus PLC, where he managed development of the North American version of the Lotus Elise.
Leaving three adult children behind in the U.K., Malcolm and his wife now live in San Carlos, where they spend weekends hiking and cycling to explore their new environment. That is, once they’ve finished videoconferencing with the kids back home.
Darryl Siry oversees sales, marketing/communications, and service for Tesla Motors. Prior to joining the company, Darryl was Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, a property and casualty insurance company with $6 billion in revenues. At Fireman’s Fund, Darryl revitalized the Fireman’s Fund brand through innovative, non-traditional approaches, earning broad recognition within the industry and marketing and communications professions. Prior to Fireman’s Fund, Darryl was with Mercer Management Consulting, where he advised clients in the consumer products and financial services industries. Darryl earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Brown University.
In his spare time, Darryl works on his cars in his workshop in Occidental, Calif., often chronicling his adventures as an amateur mechanic in his blog, Horseless Age. He also maintains a blog on the rapidly evolving landscape of marketing, entitled Marketing 2.0. Darryl lives with his wife Keri, and two Vizslas, Samson and Honey Bee. Darryl and Keri had their first child of the human sort – daughter Gemma – in May 2007.
Mike began his career at Goldman Sachs & Co., where he helped clients worldwide raise over $2 billion in structured debt financing. He then worked for McKinsey and Company and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where he helped several companies through IPOs and acquisitions. In 1994, Mike caught the technology bug and has since helped game-changing companies raise more than $250 million in public and private financings. His first foray into high tech was with Scopus Technology, for which he managed the public offering process prior to that company’s acquisition by Siebel Systems. Mike also served as Vice President of Finance for network management software pioneer Micromuse, where he coordinated the IPO and several financing rounds and managed all financial planning and investor relations activities. Mike then served as Chief Financial Officer for Benchmark Capital and Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Tropos Networks, where he helped raise more than $80 million in venture financing.
Along the way, Mike found time to earn a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley and JD/MBA from Stanford University. Mike is married and has two children. He serves on the board for the Center for the Early Intervention on Deafness.
Craig has worked at Sun Microsystems as a staff attorney, and also served as General Counsel of Kaleida Labs (a joint venture of Apple and IBM) and Actra (a joint venture of Netscape and General Electric). In his spare time, Craig likes to run marathons and ultramarathons, and he is most proud of a 12:17 in the Miwok 100K.
Craig has a degree in math from Duke University and a law degree from Vanderbilt University.