We haven’t really heard much about Tesla’s original co-founder, Martin Eberhard, after the very public ‘founders disagreement’ with Elon Musk that led to his ousting from his role as CEO of the company back in 2008.
He briefly led Volkswagen’s electric vehicle development in the US and later joined his former Tesla colleagues at competitor Atieva, now Lucid Motors, before leaving in 2015. We learned last year that he resurfaced as a consultant for a Chinese electric vehicle company trying to enter the US market.
Now we learn that he has his own serious effort in electric vehicles as Chairman and Chief Technology Officer of his own startup called ‘InEVit. Inc’.
In a talk that Eberhard gave at Stanford late last year with his original Tesla co-founder, Marc Tarpenning, he said that he was working on a new startup without elaborating further.
After watching the talk last month, we reached out to Eberhard to know more about the project, but we never receive a response.
Nonetheless, we can now confirm that the new startup is called ‘InEVit’ – stylized to emphasize the ‘EV’ and apparently a play on ‘inevitable’ based on the tagline on their placeholder website – pictured above.
Electrek tracked down a trademark application for ‘Inevit’ in which the company is seeking the right to commercialize the name for:
- Energy storage and management components, subsystems, and systems
- Electric vehicle drivetrain components and subsystems
- Development, engineering, and design services related to energy storage and management systems and electric vehicle drivetrain systems
- Licensing of technology related to energy storage and management systems and electric vehicle drivetrain systems
Based on the application, it’s clear that the startup is developing electric vehicle powertrains and potentially looking to license them to OEMs, not unlike what GKN or Bosch are doing.
Speaking of Bosch, the startup is listing locations both in Silicon Valley and in Germany, where Heiner Fees, a former engineer at Bosch, is apparently a “Founder / VP Engineering & Managing Director of InEVit GmbH”, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Fees holds dozens of patents, mainly related to energy storage systems. In February, he applied for two patents related to battery packs in electric vehicles.
Unfortunately, we don’t know much more about their plans, but if they are now applying for trademarks, it’s a good indication that they are getting ready to come out of stealth mode.
If you are not familiar with Eberhard, he founded Tesla in 2003 with his friend and business partner Marc Tarpenning. Current Tesla Chairman and CEO, Elon Musk, and CTO, JB Straubel, along with former executive Ian Wright, were all made co-founders later after a judge ruling following a dispute among them after Eberhard was ousted from Tesla in 2008 and Musk later took over as CEO.
You can learn all about the early days of Tesla and Eberhard’s vision for the transition of the automotive industry to electric propulsion with Eberhard and Tarpenning’s talk at Stanford: