JB Straubel is the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) and Co-founder of Tesla, Inc., “the #1 Most Innovative Company in the World,” according to Forbes. At Tesla, J.B. manages the technical direction and engineering design of the Tesla products including battery technology, power electronics, motors, software, firmware and controls. Above all, JB creates and manages many important Tesla´s initiatives: the Tesla Energy business providing grid storage for commercial utilities and residential consumers; the worldwide Tesla Supercharger network of fast DC chargers; and the Tesla Gigafactory, which is leading the way toward increasing worldwide battery production and lowering the cost per kWh. Furthermore, he also has responsibility for new technology evaluation, R&D, technical diligence review of key vendors, and building partner relationships.
In addition to his work at Tesla, JB has also served on the Board of Directors for Solar City, the leading US residential solar company, since their founding. He is a lecturer at his alma mater, Stanford University, where he created and taught an engineering class and lab, focused on energy storage integration in the Engineering Department.
In 2017, JB also co-founded Redwood Materials, a circular economy start-up focusing on advanced technology and process development for material recycling, remanufacturing, and reuse.
JB has had a lifelong passion for electric vehicles that had him rebuild an electric golf cart at the age of 14. While at University, he did the same, developing a Porsche 944 with an electric engine. More impressively, it held a world EV racing record. He has taken part in solar car racing, and has built a hybrid trailer system that he designed while in college. Consequently, in 2008, the MIT Technology Review chose JB as “#1 Innovator of 35 under 35 for the year”. In 2009, DesignNews named him “Engineer of the Year”. Finally, in 2015 he was listed as #2 on Fortune’s 40 under 40 most influential business and innovation leaders. JB is an inventor on over 30 patents covering most areas of Tesla’s core battery, motor and controls systems.
He received a BS in Energy Systems Engineering and also an MS in Energy Engineering, with an emphasis on energy conversion, both from Stanford University. Outside of Tesla Motors, Straubel is also an active cyclist and pilot, and holds a private pilot license, instrument, glider and multi-engine ratings.