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Improved Battery Technology Swings Plug-in Equation

Tesla Motors technology chief JB Straubel forecasts more electric-vehicle popularity from declining costs.

Tesla Motors Chief Elon Musk has always been a big-picture guy, and the company's chief technology officer appears to be following suit. JB Straubel, who was a keynote speaker at the Joint Venture Silicon Valley symposium near the automaker's Northern California home base recently, says the company is just as much an energy-storage company as a car maker. And he said the rate of battery-technology improvement shows no signs of slowing down, according to Green Tech Media.

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk does things differently than the heads of other car manufacturers. Case in point, he just made a quick European tour with stops in the Netherlands, Germany and Norway where he, along with CTO JB Straubel, held lengthy question and answer sessions with Tesla owners, reservation holders and other interested parties.

While Nissan and General Motors have sworn they will bring self-driving cars to market by 2020, Tesla Motors says it can happen much faster. We shouldn't be surprised, says Tesla Motor's Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel, since all of the technology that's needed, the sensors and processors, are already here.

Tesla Motors turned the "penny wise, dollar foolish" axiom on its head by staking its lithium-ion battery technology on a more expensive and more complex layout than its competitors, according to Tesla Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel in an interview with Bloomberg News.

The 26th annual Electric Vehicle Symposium is taking place in Los Angeles, CA this week and the biggest news items are the details on the new Toyota RAV4 EV and the SAE-approved DC fast charging combo plug. But there is much more here on the show floor, and things got off to a good start during the opening session hosted by EDTA president Brian Wynne.

AutoblogGreen had the rare opportunity on Friday to chat with Toyota CEO and president Akio Toyoda where he revealed a prototype vehicle with a Tesla electric drive unit was under construction. Tesla CTO JB Straubel has now told CNN Money that the Silicon valley company is preparing two mule vehicles for Toyota. Tesla battery packs, power electronnics and motors are being installed into Toyota bodies.

As we continue the tale of Elon and Martin, we pick up from the initial involvement of Elon Musk in Tesla Motors. Musk has put in the single largest chunk of money that has allowed Tesla to develop and now start building an electric car. Here we delve into the subject of his role in design decisions. As some in the mainstream media have taken to referring to Musk as the "creator" of the Tesla Roadster, this is a particularly contentious subject.

JB Straubel, Chief Technical Officer at Tesla Motors has just put up a new post at the Tesla Blog with an extensive update on the Roadster drivetrain updates that are coming later this year. As we reported at Tesla's recent schedule update, the Silicon Valley start up is currently planning a running change to the upgraded powertrain beginning with car #41 which should happen sometime in late summer. There aren't any huge surprises in Straubel's post, but there are some interesting details. When

The chief technical officer at Tesla Motors tells AutoblogGreen that 10 to 15 more test prototypes will be built next month as the company prepares to start manufacturing the much talked-about electric roadster in mid-2007. "We'll be finalizing the last changes we want to make from the first batch to the second," says JB Straubel, who was promoting the Tesla Roadster at the LA Auto Show. The first 10 prototypes are currently undergoing a variety of durability and validation tests around the worl

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