While we trekked to Germany last week to learn about the Volkswagen Golf Blue-e-motion, we got non-committal answers about the automaker's battery guru, Martin Eberhard, formerly of Tesla Motors. Turns out, he was planning some adventures of his own. As an electric vehicle (EV) adviser to Volkswagen and its associated brands, Eberhard sparked the automaker's interest in numerous battery-powered projects like the aforementioned Golf Blue-e-motion, the Audi e-tron lineup and the VW E-Up!, to name just a few, but just as we gear up for a slew of hybrids and EVs from the VW Group, Eberhard is readying to leave the brand.
Soon, Eberhard's contract with VW will expire and, he told Wired, it won't be renewed. VW officially confirmed that Eberhard and the automaker will part ways, but stated that the split is amicable. Jill Bratina, VP of brand communications for VW of America, spoke of the break up like this:
Eberhard is reportedly seeking funding for a start-up company that involves cars, though he's not ready to divulge any details about his next adventure just yet.We have mutually decided to part ways. As a well respected contributor and industry leader in the field in electric vehicle research, we greatly appreciate his contributions to VW and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.