Tesla's Battery Tech Director Abruptly Leaves the Company
【Summary】Kurt Kelty Tesla's battery tech director, has left, just as the company enters what Elon Musk called "production hell" for the Model 3.
Kurt Kelty, Tesla's battery tech director, has left days after the company's lavish party to celebrate the delivery of the first Model 3 sedans, and just as the company enters what Elon Musk called "production hell" for the long awaited Model 3.
The news was first reported by Bloomberg's Dana Hull. A Tesla spokesperson confirmed Kelty's departure to Business Insider, adding that his responsibilities will be distributed among existing teams. Earlier this year, Kelty accepted the award for "Battery Innovator of the Year" presented by the 34-year-old International Battery Seminar.
"We can confirm that Kurt Kelty has left the company to explore new opportunities and we want to thank him for everything he's done for Tesla," a company spokesperson told The Verge by email. "Kurt's responsibilities will be distributed among Tesla's existing teams."
Kelty has served as Tesla's battery tech director for eleven years starting in 2006, before Elon Musk became CEO of the company, according to Kelty's LinkedIn page. Before joining Tesla over a decade ago, Kelty was director of Panasonic's Energy Lab.
Panasonic manufactures and supplies the lithium-ion cells to Tesla for its battery packs and plans to invest a total of $1.6 billion in Tesla's Gigafactory, a massive battery plant in Sparks, Nevada.
Kelty was crucial to the creation of the first Gigafactory in Nevada. As a former Panasonic employee, he was the chief negotiator for the Gigafactory partnership. Tesla sought Panasonic's help keeping up with demand for EV batteries, especially with the pending Model 3 release. He also regularly made "billion dollar" deals with other suppliers, and led both quality control and recycling efforts.
Neither Tesla nor Kelty has commented on the reasons for the departure.
Originally from New Jersey, Eric is an automotive and technology reporter specializing in the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley. Eric has over fifteen years of automotive experience and a B.A. in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the automotive industry and beyond. He has worked on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology. Outside of work, Eric likes to travel to new places, play guitar, and explore the outdoors.
The U.S. Postal Service is Testing Mail Delivery Using Self-Driving Trucks From TuSimple
GM Says its Vehicle Lineup Will Be Capable of Receiving OTA Updates Beginning in 2023
Air Taxi Startup Lilium Tests its Prototype 5-Passenger VTOL Electric Jet
Hyundai Develops a ‘Smart Air Purification’ System That Uses a Laser-based Sensor to Monitor Air Quality
U.S. Lawmakers Are Supporting a Electric Vehicle Supply Chain Policy to Help Secure Raw Materials for EV Batteries
FCC Will Reconsider Opening the 5.9 GHz Band for Wi-Fi & Connected Cars
U.S Drops Plans Requiring a Throttle, Brake Override System in Vehicles
Uber Off to a Rocky Start in Stock Market Debut as Stock Slips 7%
- EV Startup Faraday Future Saved by $600 Million Investment from Internet & Gaming Co The9
- Volkswagen Announces EV Plants in China to Compete With Tesla
- Nvidia Proposes Self-Driving License for Autonomous Vehicles
- Electric Vehicle Startup Neuron EV Reveals its Visionary Smart Vehicle Called ‘HUB’
- Reuters Poll Finds American Drivers Still Aren’t Interested in Autonomous Cars
- Waymo Preparing to Open Additional Tech Service Center in Arizona
- Startup Innolith Claims to Have EV Battery Capable of 600 Miles of Range
- France & Germany to Support a EV Battery Consortium With PSA Group and Battery Maker Saft
- Kandi's Electric K22 and EX3 Approved for $7,500 Federal EV Tax Credit in 2020
- Hyundai Develops a ‘Smart Air Purification’ System That Uses a Laser-based Sensor to Monitor Air Quality