Tesla Motors CEO Steps Down

23 Comments

High profile electric car company Tesla Motors is going through a changing of the guard. The company says in a press release this morning that Martin Eberhard, the founder and CEO has stepped down from his post. Eberhard will remain with the company as President of Technology and focus on the Roadster, the company’s first car to market.

The company says it has appointed Michael Marks, former CEO of Flextronics and an investor in Tesla Motors, to take over as interim CEO. The release says: “Martin and the board have been planning for CEO succession since early this year, and will continue the search for a permanent CEO to lead Tesla Motors.”

Jalopnik posts an email that it says Eberhard sent to would-be buyers, that suggests the Roadster might face delays. “We are still planning to start production of the Roadster by the end of next month and deliver the first cars to customers this fall. We have a good chance of meeting this goal, but to be fully transparent, I want you to know that while it is within our reach, it is not yet fully within our grasp.”

teslacar.gif
Based in San Carlos, Calif., Tesla has raised close to $100 million in funding, and is backed by a long list of high profile investors including Elon Musk, VantagePoint Venture Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Jeff Skoll, and Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

23 Comments

trabajo casa

Electric cars are the future since 20 years and it might take still a long time that you see more than 1 per year on the streets.

linen

@ Jimmy above.
Not everyone loves their sportscars, or the engine running. Personally, for me, I’d sooner drive a green car than a high-powered gasoline car. At least, as my general car. When I get into my forties I can maybe get a ‘vintage’ car that rides on gasoline on Sundays. At least, then, it wouldn’t be a problem. Right now, however, my daily car ought to be one that is zippy, lightweight, safe and environment friendly. To be honest, THIS is where I think they’re missing the point. Why bother making electric sportscars? Rather go for the small cars that the majority of the public can afford.
Which leads me to another question : WHY are batteries so expensive? I think someone is capitalizing here where they shouldn’t…

trademark registration

Perhaps the founder of the company felt others could do the job better than he or perhaps he simply wanted to focus more on the lesser position that he is currently managing. Whatever the case may be, I’m sure he only had Tesla Motors’ best interests in mind.

jimmy

They may make 50 cars to try to satisfy investors but this company will fold shortly after that. I see no future for this company. People love sports cars and they love the sound of the engine just as much. This car will be too quiet and will have too many squeaks. Just don’t see it going anywhere with the hybrids available, I think they missed their boat !

Katie Fehrenbacher

Jim, I totally agree that it’s a weird move to step down before a long term replacement has been found. We’ve been trying to look into what’s going on.

Jim Beyer

It seems a bit odd that they announced Eberhard’s change of status without his final replacement already selected. If they don’t have his replacement yet, why the change? Why the announcement?

I think Tesla Motors big problem is that they were conceived as a company before the PHEV strategy was popularized by Felix Kramer (Calcars). Now everyone knows their strategy (all-electric) is economically, quite problematic.

The problem with an all-electric car is that they need adequate range for them to be acceptable to the broad consumer. I think the Tesla gets 200-250 miles per charge, which is on the low side for range. Most cars get 300 miles plus. But it’s not too bad.

But contrast this with the other consumer reality that the typical driver only drives less than 50 miles per day or thereabouts. So, assuming you can plug-in your vehicle most nights, that “last battery” on your Tesla, that you’ve paid so much for, is rarely used. It has very little utility to the consumer, yet the consumer has to pay so much for it. Many thousands of dollars.

Contrast this to a PHEV, which may drive 40 miles or so in an all-electric mode, and then, for the rare occasions when more range IS needed, they have an engine and lots of dense energy in the form of gasoline or ethanol or whatever. A PHEV utilizes both resources (batteries, and expensive liquid fuel) much more efficiently than either an all-electric vehicle or an ordinary gasoline-powered car.

Tesla is faced with buying 5 times the batteries (compared with a PHEV) to get an insignificant improvement in “greenness” or utility or whatever. They need to convert to a PHEV strategy unless batteries get a whole lot cheaper right away, and I don’t see that happening.

Comments are closed.