Tesla’s Head Battery Engineer Leaves Automaker
Tesla’s senior director of battery engineering, Jon Wagner (see Linkedin profile) has left the company to pursue his own battery and powertrain Stealth Startup.
Jon Wagner joined Tesla in January 2013, and for almost five years (until September 2017) he was working on Model S, Model X, Model 3, and energy storage projects. Via LinkedIn:
“Jan 2013 – Team leader for battery pack design engineering: mechanical, thermal, structural, electrical, and system engineering. Led the cost-down and product improvement effort for Model S/X battery pack. Pushed R&D technology development focused on architectures for cost reduction, reliability, and safety. Brought many of those technologies to market in S/X, Powerwall, and Model 3.
Placed specific emphasis on employee and team development, leadership, and team culture. Overhauled performance reviews, compensation, recognition, and lightweight engineering process for rapid paced progress.
Also held Interim Director positions at various times for Body Engineering, Computer Aided Engineering, Materials, Battery Manufacturing Engineering.”
It’s not known what led to the departure, but we doubt that it’s related to the Model 3 production delays.
Earlier, Jon Wagner worked for Mission Motors (March 2009 to December 2012) as CTO. Info via LinkedIn
“Built, led, and mentored a cross functional engineering team. Set strategic direction with regards to technology development. System level design.
Battery pack: cylindrical and pouch, water and air cooled
Battery Cell testing and selection
Battery management electronics and algorithms
Motor and Gearbox: AC Induction and Permanent Magnet with splash oil cooling
Motor Inverter: 3 Phase liquid cooled motor inverter, sensing, and controls
Vehicle/System controller and datalogger
Web UI for vehicle data exploring and exporting
At Mission, we built what is still considered the world’s best looking and performing electric motorcycle. To make ends meet when investment didn’t come through we also built a successful engineering services organization, doing projects with Harley, Caterpillar, Honda, Sony, and others.”
Shake ups at Tesla aren’t unusual or unexpected. It happens at Tesla and elsewhere throughout the auto industry all the time, so we will try to not read too much into this, but rather look forward to whatever Jon has up his sleeve for the future.