Martin Forest Eberhard
|Alma mater||University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign|
Martin Forest Eberhard is an engineer, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, and inventor. He received a BS in Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1982 and an MS in Electrical Engineering from the same school in 1984. In 2015, he was inducted into the University of Illinois Engineering Hall of Fame. He co-founded Tesla, Inc. (then Tesla Motors) with Marc Tarpenning In 2002, where Eberhard was its original chairman, and served as its CEO until late 2007.
Eberhard began his career as an electrical engineer at Wyse Technology, where he designed the WY-30 ASCII computer terminal as his first product. Eberhard co-founded Network Computing Devices in 1987, where he served as chief engineer through its IPO on 1992, developing several successful products including X Window System network terminals.
In 1996, Eberhard founded NuvoMedia with Marc Tarpenning, where they developed the Rocket eBook, the first e-book with secure internet delivery of content, the Rocket eBook. Eberhard served as chairman and CEO until NuvoMedia’s acquisition by Gemstar in 2000.
Eberhard's interest in sports cars, dependence on oil imports, and global warming led him to found Silicon Valley's first automobile company to produce a prototype called the AC Propulsion tzero. In 2003 Eberhard co-founded (with Marc Tarpenning), and became the first CEO of, Tesla Motors, an electric car company in San Carlos, California. Eberhard’s guiding principles were: 1) an electric car should not be a compromise. With the right technology choices, it is possible to build electric cars that are actually better cars than their competition. 2) Battery technology is key to a successful electric car. Lithium ion batteries are not only suitable of automotive use; they are game-changing, making decent driving range a reality. 3) If designed right, electric cars can appeal to even the most serious car enthusiast, as electric drive is capable of seriously outperforming internal combustion enginesEberhard drives the second of Tesla Motors Founder's Series Roadsters cars, which is the first series of the Tesla Roadster (2008). The Tesla Roadster is a battery electric sportscar with 244 miles (393 km) (EPA) range.
On November 30, 2007 Tesla released a press release titled "Martin Eberhard, Co-founder of Tesla Motors, to Transition to Advisory Board." Fortune magazine reported in December 2007 that Elon Musk had asked Martin to leave. Musk stated in an interview that it was not due to ideological differences, but that he did not see a role for Eberhard. On January 7, 2008, the New York Times reported that Tesla Motors issued a statement explaining that the co-founder and former chief executive, Martin Eberhard, "has transitioned from the board of directors and executive management of the company to the advisory board."
Eberhard noted that while he had signed a non-disclosure agreement with Tesla, "so I must, by contract, be a bit careful about how I word things", he was not happy with the transition. In his since-deleted Tesla Founders Blog, Eberhard criticized Tesla layoffs, which he labeled a "stealth bloodbath".
In June 2009, Eberhard brought a lawsuit against Elon Musk for libel, slander, and breach of contract, alleging that Musk pushed him out of the company, publicly disparaged him, and compromised Tesla's financial health. In August 2009, Eberhard dropped the lawsuit for undisclosed reasons. A Tesla spokesperson declined to comment on the change, raising the likelihood of a settlement. In September 2009 Tesla confirmed the settlement, but did not provide further details.
In 2010, Martin Eberhard confirmed to Autoblog Green that he was doing work with Volkswagen, but no further details were provided.
inEVit / Seres
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