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JB Straubel's speaking fee falls
within range: $50,000 to $75,000
One of the leading young innovators of this decade, JB Straubel is the CTO and a founding member of Tesla Motors. The driving mind between Tesla’s cutting edge technology, Straubel helped create one of the first successful electric vehicles as well as the first new automobile company in the US since Chrysler was launched in 1935.
Straubel built his first electric car from a golf cart years before he was old enough to get a driver’s license. While studying at Stanford, he created his own major “Energy Systems Engineering,” which years later was adopted into an official track. Prior to working at Tesla, he co-founded Volacom, where he designed and patented a long-endurance hybrid propulsion concept that is currently licensed by Boeing. His inventions are also part of the mechanics at Capstone Turbine (CPST) and Penta-dyne Power Corp.
Straubel has been named “Innovator of the year” by Technology Review and “Engineer of the year” by DesignNews. A chief authority on alternative energy systems, he serves on the Board of Directors for Solar City and lectures on the topic at Stanford University as part of the Atmosphere and Energy Program.
JB Straubel is the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) and Co-founder of Tesla, Inc., “the #1 Most Innovative Company in the World,” according to Forbes. At Tesla, JB manages the technical direction and engineering design of the Tesla products including battery technology, power electronics, motors, software, firmware and controls. Most of all, JB also creates and manages many important Tesla´s initiatives. First of all: Tesla Energy business providing grid storage for commercial utilities and residential consumers. Another: the worldwide Tesla Supercharger network of fast DC chargers. Finally: the Tesla Gigafactory which is leading the way toward increasing worldwide battery production and lowering the cost per kWh. Furthermore, he also has responsibility for new technology evaluation, R&D, technical diligence review of key vendors, and building partner relationships.
In addition to his work at Tesla, JB has also served on the Board of Directors for Solar City, the leading US residential solar company, since their founding. Furthermore, he is a lecturer at his alma mater, Stanford University. He created there and also teaches an engineering class and lab focused on energy storage integration (CEE 176C) in the Engineering Department. In 2017, JB has also co-founded Redwood Materials. It is a startup focusing on advanced technology and process development for materials recycling, remanufacturing, and reuse.
JB has had a lifelong interest in electric vehicles, also including rebuilding an electric gold cart at the age of 14, an Electric Porsche 944. As a result it held a world EV racing record, solar car racing and building a hybrid trailer system that he designed while in college. Consequently, in 2008, the MIT Technology Review chose JB as “#1 Innovator of 35 under 35 for the year”. Furthermore, in 2009 DesignNews named him “Engineer of the Year”. Finally in 2015 he was listed as #2 on Fortune’s 40 under 40 most influential business and innovation leaders. JB is an inventor on over 30 patents covering most areas of Tesla’s core battery, motor and controls systems.
More About JB Straubel…
He received a BS in Energy Systems Engineering and also an MS in Energy Engineering, emphasis on energy conversion, both from Stanford University. Furthermore, outside of Tesla Motors, Straubel is also an active cyclist and pilot and holds private pilot, instrument, glider and multi-engine ratings.
Tesla Motors CTO, JB Straubel discusses how he realized the need for electric vehicles from a young age and what it took to see that vision through. In addition to the technical obstacles Tesla faced in regard to producing a safe feasible product, the daring start-up faced the challenge of reinventing the public image of an electric car.
"We had seen a whole landscape of wrecked and failed EV companies," Straubel says. Other companies' attempts had been too different from a typical car. GM's flopped model, for example, had been described as "egg on wheels." Straubel attributes this string of failures to an out-of-balance focus on the technology; dozens of companies were making technologically advanced "odd-looking cars" that nobody wanted to drive.
"We went to the other end of the spectrum," Straubel describes the process of designing the original Tesla Roadster. "We looked at where the technology was best and realized high performance - acceleration, torque, range - with lithium batteries were things you could do really well."
Tesla Motors CTO and Founding Partner JB Straubel is one of the best-matched people to speak on the process of making new technology accessible and desirable to consumers. Straubel offers actionable advice on building high-performing innovative teams and strategic partnerships – two key components to operationalizing new technology. He is also frequently asked to address developments in AI, alternative energy, and their implications for business leaders.
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