scorecardRevealed: Tesla’s co-founder has a new startup in Silicon Valley
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Revealed: Tesla’s co-founder has a new startup in Silicon Valley

Revealed: Tesla’s co-founder has a new startup in Silicon Valley
Business2 min read

  • Martin Eberhard spoke about his seven-month old startup Tiveni to Business Insider.
  • Tiveni is working on battery systems that it intends to sell to electric car makers and as well green energy companies.
  • This is Eberhard’s fourth startup after Tesla, NuvoMedia, and Network Computing Devices.
Martin Eberhard founded Tesla -- and was its first CEO for four years-- in 2003 along with Marc Tarpenning. But he was forced out of the company after a fall-out and a legal battle with Elon Musk.

Eberhard is now a co-founder of yet another startup, Tiveni, which is working on power storage systems that will power not only electric vehicles, but also other energy products.

“We have working prototypes of manufacturing technologies and unique processes that makes the systems very cheap. We take the manufacturing time for making a battery system to one-twentieth of the time it takes now,” Eberhard revealed in an exclusive interview with Business Insider.

Heiner Fees is a partner who brings in nearly 30 years of experience in automobile engineering from Germany. A third partner Mike Mckovsky is a veteran from the solar industry, Eberhard said.

The venture is seven months old, according to LinkedIn. “We are still quiet about it. If you go to our website it says nothing. My interest is in energy storage because it is the key technology both for electric cars and for green energy production. You need to have energy storage to make solar and wind energy scalable. I have been working on how to make battery systems cheaper, safer and more reliable,” Eberhard said.

This is a fourth startup that Eberhard has been one of the founders in, Tesla being the most famous of them all. Before Tesla, Eberhard sold his electronic publishing platform NuvoMedia.

“That company was acquired unexpectedly in January 2000. Little later on in 2000 is when we hit this giant crash in Silicon Valley and, man, was I happy,” an ecstatic Eberhard said. “We had sold the company, we had lucked out,” he added.

His first venture was Network Computing Devices in 1987. “I was one of six founders in a company called NCD that was making high-end graphics terminals when that sort of thing mattered. IPO was in 1991,” Eberhard said.