Tesla’s Director of Battery Engineering Jon Wagner has left the company to start his own business. According to his LinkedIn profile, he is starting a battery and powertrain company in Redwood California. Wagner had worked with Tesla since January 2013 as a team leader for battery pack design engineering, and he helped develop he Model S, X and 3. He also served as the interim Director for battery manufacturing, body engineering and computer aided engineering.
Wagner officially quit the company last month, though it is unclear under what circumstances he left the company. And there is also the possibility that Wagner’s new venture was in work for quite some time, even before the Gigafactory issues became known.
Tesla began production of the Model 3 sedan in July. Currently, however, the project has encountered roadblocks with manufacturing issues at its Nevada Gigafactory. This pushed back the schedule of the Model 3 by three months. The company is currently working to address these issues, and said it is difficult to predict how long will it take to fix. Last month the company reported, it produced only 260 models, which is less than 20% of its intended target of 1500 for the third quarter of 2017.
In a letter to its shareholders, the company said that the “primary constraint” on production was due to the problems at their Nevada Gigafactory. Tesla said it’s hopeful work will increase soon, and that it will eventually have production rates that are more than their initial projections. However, they pushed back a target of producing 5,000 Model 3s per week by the end of this year to late March.
Tesla already has close to 450,000 reservations for the Model 3. Regarding the news on Jon Wagner’s departure from the organization, Tesla and Wagner have not yet responded to any requests for comment.