At Tesla, JB focuses on technical direction and engineering design including battery technology, power electronics, motors, software, firmware and controls. JB also launched many Tesla initiatives including: 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. He also has responsibility for new technology evaluation, R&D and technical diligence review of key vendors.
In addition to his work at Tesla, JB is also a lecturer at his alma mater, Stanford University, where he created and teaches an engineering class and lab focused on energy storage integration (CEE 176C) in the Engineering Department.
JB has had a lifelong interest in electric vehicles, including rebuilding an electric gold cart at the age of 14, building an Electric Porsche 944 that held a world EV racing record, solar car racing and building a hybrid trailer system that he designed while in college. 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”. And in 2015 he was listed as #2 on Fortune’s 40 under 40 most influential business and innovation leaders. JB in 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 an MS in Energy Engineering, emphasis on energy conversion, both from Stanford University. Outside of Tesla Motors, Straubel is also an active cyclist and pilot and holds private pilot, instrument, glider and multi-engine ratings.