Jeffrey Brian ("JB") Straubel (born December 20, 1975) is an American businessman. He spent 15 years at Tesla, as chief technical officer until moving to an advisory role in July 2019.
In 2017, Straubel founded and became the CEO of Redwood Materials, Inc., working on the recycling of lithium-ion batteries and e-waste.
Straubel holds a Bachelor of Science in energy systems engineering and a Master of Science in energy engineering from Stanford University.
Straubel joined Tesla as its fifth employee in 2004, and is named as a co-founder. He was its inaugural chief technical officer until moving to an advisory role in July 2019.
At Tesla, Straubel led battery cell design, supply chain and led the first Gigafactory concept through the production ramp of the Model 3. He had a direct role in research and development, team building, and operational expansion from prototype cars through to mass production and expanding battery production to gigawatt-hour scale. Straubel also had responsibility for new technology evaluation, technical due diligence review of key vendors and partners, intellectual property, and systems validation testing. In addition to his work at Tesla, Straubel was also on the board of directors at SolarCity. As the result of a court settlement, Straubel is legally considered to be a co-founder of Tesla.
He was also a lecturer at Stanford University for the 2015-2016 academic year, where he taught the energy storage integration classes (CEE 176C & CEE 276C) in the Atmosphere and Energy Program.
In 2017, Straubel established Redwood Materials, working on the recycling of lithium-ion batteries and e-waste.
Prior to Tesla, Straubel was the CTO and co-founder of Volacom along with Harold Rosen. Volacom worked closely with Burt Rutan at Scaled Composites to design a specialized high-altitude aircraft platform using a novel hydrogen-powered electric power plant. At Volacom, Straubel co-invented and patented a new long-endurance hybrid propulsion concept that was later licensed to Boeing.
In the area of technical expertise, Straubel has consulted with venture capital firms Taproot Ventures and Kleiner Perkins, in addition to several other private equity investors, to conduct technical due diligence reviews for many start-ups in the energy and clean energy technologies category. Straubel is on the board of QuantumScape and also consults with Amory Lovins at the Rocky Mountain Institute.
Although he did not originally intend to work in the automobile industry, Straubel has long had a passion for electric vehicles. He built an electric Porsche 944 that earned the 240 V SC/B world electric vehicle racing record in 2000.