It’s not just Apple that’s been making attempts to lure Tesla engineers + ex-Tesla engineers, based on recent reports.
An electric vehicle startup by the name of Atieva has apparently been hiring a fair number of them (as well as other engineers) with the intent of “building an iconic new vehicle from the ground up.”
Here’s the full quote from some of the company’s promotional materials: “Atieva is designing and creating a breakthrough electric car in the heart of Silicon Valley. We’re redefining what a car can be, by building an iconic new vehicle from the ground up.”
Charged provides some interesting background information on the company:
Atieva was founded in 2007 by Bernard Tse — a Tesla VP and board member from 2003 to 2007 — and Sam Weng, a former Oracle executive. Unlike other automotive companies that start with vehicle design prototypes, the co-founders started Atieva to focus on advancing core EV technology. According to Google Patent Search, Atieva now holds over 100 patents for battery, motor and control system technologies.
Representatives remain tight-lipped about the details, but at some point Atieva decided to shift focus and design a consumer EV from scratch. For the past 7 months, the company has been hiring engineers to build its design team from about 100 to 300 key personnel. It recently moved to a larger facility in Menlo Park, CA, and is actively looking for more real estate to develop vehicles.
Atieva’s website says the engineers who join the team will “work with some of the best, most accomplished minds in the industry,” and that’s no exaggeration. In addition to Tse, the company’s team currently includes many top ex-Tesla engineers who were critical to the initial design of the Model S. Combing through Atieva’s staff on LinkedIn, we found 12 employees who used to work for Tesla, or about 10% of its current design team.
While that all sounds well and good, and perhaps even compelling, for the time being there doesn’t seem to be much out there regarding the company that’s truly solid. I guess we’ll have to wait for more details.
Interestingly, though, Atieva representatives apparently spoke to Charged and noted that the company actually “secured a 9-figure sum in private equity funding last year, bringing its total to significantly more than the $131 million listed currently on CrunchBase.”
Those interested in learning more (or in applying for a position) are directed to the company’s website.