Way back in March of 2009, we first heard from a source who wished to remain anonymous that Tesla Motors co-founder Martin Eberhard might be back in the electric vehicle game. What we had been told was that Eberhard was doing some work with Volkswagen on electric vehicle projects. At the time, we contacted Eberhard, who told us that he wasn't ready to talk publicly about any new projects yet. Since we couldn't get any other confirmation, we let the story rest.
Green Tech Media is now reporting much the same thing we heard last year. Since that time, of course, Eberhard's defamation/breach of contract suit against Tesla has come and gone and in the last several months the Volkswagen group has unveiled three very different electric vehicle concepts. VW showed the E-up! city car in Frankfurt and Audi has shown two very different E-tron sports cars in Frankfurt and Detroit. VW has a research and development facility in Palo Alto, CA, not far from where Eberhard lives.
We've asked Eberhard for a comment on the situation and he has confirmed that he is indeed doing work with Volkswagen. Eberhard declined to provide any other details at this time other than to say, " my interests have not changed a lot." We certainly aren't surprised to see him involved because of his passion for electric vehicles. The U.S. is also a primary market for electrics being because of California mandates.