Tesla to set-up a powertrain R&D centre in Greece
The Californian EV maker has long left its home coast to seek for talent elsewhere. Tesla has now reached the Greek shores and says it wants to set up a centre for research and development of electric drivetrains in Athens.
The news appear surprising given that Tesla is not selling electric cars in Greece at the moment. The decision to establish a R&D unit in Athens though starts to make sense when considering, that three of Tesla’s main electric motor designers all hold degrees from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA).
A Tesla spokesperson told Electrek, that indeed “Greece has strong electric motor engineering talent and technical universities, offering tailored programs and specialised skills for electric motor technology.”
At the beginning the team will be relatively small with Tesla planning to employ about ten engineers in the Greek capital. The team is to work closely with the main engineers in the States that consists of Principal Motor Designer Konstantinos Laskaris, Motor Design Engineer Konstantinos Bourchas, and Staff Motor Design Engineer Vasilis Papanikolaou among others.
In terms of electric drive development, Tesla has been working with the likes of Toyota for the Rav4 EV back in the early days of 2014. Mercedes’ Smart as well as its early B-class also featured Tesla technology in 2014 reportedly.
Most recently and for its own needs, Tesla has built an electric drive for the Model 3, which will also be used in the Tesla Semi. Said electric truck uses no less than four electric drives though, one on each axle. Those Model 3 drives operate independently in the Semi and shall accelerate from 0 – 100 kph in under 5 seconds when the truck is empty, faster than a BMW i3. Under load, acceleration decreases to 20 seconds, still quicker than any diesel-powered lorry, and driving speed is capped at 104 kph, according to Tesla (we reported).