Tesla’s Battery Tech Director Leaves

Tesla’s director of battery tech has left the company, just days after the launch party for the company’s latest vehicle.

Kurt Kelty had been with Tesla since 2006, making him one of the longest-serving executives with the automaker. Before that he spent 14 years at Panasonic, Tesla’s partner for the battery Gigafactory in Reno, Nevada. The two companies also jointly developed the new battery cells used in the Model 3.

SEE ALSO: Tesla Starts Battery Cell Production At Nevada Gigafactory

“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,” the company said in a statement to Bloomberg.

Kelty is not the first key figure to leave the company recently. CFO Jason Wheeler and Chris Lattner, the head of Tesla’s Autopilot team both left earlier this year.

The departure at this tough time may seem like a blow to Tesla, but the critical battery work for the Model 3 should already be done. The issues to be overcome to ramp up Model 3 production should be related to assembly and parts availability, not adding new battery tech. Kelty also lead negotiations between Tesla and Panasonic for the construction of the Gigafactory, leaving Tesla with good infrastructure for future advances and battery production.

Bloomberg


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