Martin Eberhard

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Martin Eberhard
Martin Eberhard.jpg
Eberhard in 2006
Martin Forest Eberhard

(1960-05-15) May 15, 1960 (age 60)
Alma materUniversity of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Known for

Martin Forest Eberhard (born May 15, 1960) is an American engineer and business executive. He founded Tesla, Inc. (then Tesla Motors) with Marc Tarpenning, and served as CEO of Tesla until 2008.[1][2][3] [4] [5] [6]


Early career[edit]

Eberhard began his career as an electrical engineer at Wyse Technology, where he designed the WY-30 ASCII computer terminal as his first product. Later, Eberhard co-founded and founded start-up companies Network Computing Devices, Inc. (making X Window-based network terminals) and NuvoMedia that created one of the first e-book readers, the Rocket eBook.[7]

Tesla Motors[edit]

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 an existing 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 drives the second of Tesla Motors Founder's Series Roadsters cars, which is the first series of the Tesla Roadster (2008).[8] 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."[9] Fortune magazine reported in December 2007 that Elon Musk had asked Martin to leave. Musk stated in an interview that it wasn't due to ideological differences, but that he didn't see a role for Eberhard.[10] 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."[11]

Eberhard noted that while he had signed a non-disparagement agreement with Tesla, "so I must, by contract, be a bit careful about how I word things", he was not happy with the transition.[11] In his since-deleted Tesla Founders Blog, Eberhard criticized Tesla layoffs, which he labeled a "stealth bloodbath".[12]

In June 2009, Eberhard brought a lawsuit against Elon Musk for libel, slander, and breach of contract, alleging that Elon Musk pushed him out of the company, publicly disparaged him, and compromised Tesla's financial health.[13] 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.[14]


In 2010, Martin Eberhard confirmed to Autoblog Green that he was doing work with Volkswagen, but no further details were provided.[15]

inEVit / Seres[edit]

In September 2016, Eberhard founded stealth-mode startup inEVit in a bid to supply major OEMs with electric drivetrains and power storage solutions.[16][17][18]

SF Motors (now Seres) acquired inEVit in October 2017. Eberhard served as Chief Innovation Officer until leaving July 2018.[19]

Personal life[edit]

He married Carolyn, whom he met at the University of Illinois, where they have been annual donors to the university's College of Engineering since 1984.[20][full citation needed]


  1. ^ Kumparak, Greg. "A brief history of Tesla". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-11-13.
  2. ^ "The Making Of Tesla: Invention, Betrayal, And The Birth Of The Roadster". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-11-13.
  3. ^ "Tesla Co-Founder Marc Tarpenning Tells Definitive Story Of Company's Beginnings | CleanTechnica". Retrieved 2017-11-13.
  4. ^ @. (Tweet) Retrieved 2020-08-17 – via Twitter. Missing or empty |title= (help)CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link); Missing or empty |user= (help); Missing or empty |number= (help); Missing or empty |date= (help)
  5. ^ Retrieved 2020-02-09. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ @. (Tweet) – via Twitter. Missing or empty |title= (help)CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link); Missing or empty |user= (help); Missing or empty |number= (help); Missing or empty |date= (help)
  7. ^ Schreiber, Barbara. "Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning : American Entrepeneurs". Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  8. ^ "Tesla Motors - press room". 14 November 2006. Archived from the original on November 14, 2006.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  9. ^ "Tesla Motors - press room". 13 December 2007. Archived from the original on December 13, 2007.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  10. ^ Woody, Todd. "Tesla Motors founder ousted". Fortune - Green Wombat. Archived from the original on 2008-01-15. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  11. ^ a b Dealbook (2007-12-04). "Unhappy Tesla Founder, or Impostor? -". Archived from the original on 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2011-09-24.
  12. ^ Niedermeyer, Edward (20 August 2019). "Ludicrous: The Unvarnished Story of Tesla Motors". BenBella Books. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  13. ^ Eberhard Says 'Uncle' in Tesla Lawsuit Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  14. ^ "Tesla lawsuit dismissed". San Jose Business Journal. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  15. ^ Abuelsamid, Sam (2010-01-19). "Confirmed: Tesla Co-Founder Eberhard working with Volkswagen". Retrieved 2011-09-24.
  16. ^ "INEVIT, Inc". Crunchbase. Retrieved 23 May 2020. Founded Date: Sep 7, 2016
  17. ^ Hall, Gina. "Lesser known Tesla co-founder is now heading up stealthy electric vehicle startup". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  18. ^ "Tesla's original co-founder Martin Eberhard started a new EV startup called 'InEVit'". Retrieved 2017-09-16.
  19. ^ Walz, Eric. "EV Startup SERES Hires Auto Industry Veteran to Lead its U.S. Operations". FutureCar. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  20. ^ "Distinguished Alumni Awards - Engineering at Illinois".

External links[edit]