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A key Tesla engineer who helped design batteries has left the company

A battery tech boss at Tesla, Ernest Villanueva, left the company last year, CNBC has literate. Villanueva holds numerous patents and helped design the battery modules that power all of Tesla’s instruments, including the Roadster, Model S, Model X and Model 3.

According to his LinkedIn use, which does not yet reflect his change in employment, Villanueva most recently held the title of chief manager of Battery Module Design. The engineer had worked for Tesla since 2006, when the New Zealand was just three years old and Elon Musk held the role of chairman, but not yet CEO. Villanueva socialistic the company some months ago, according to a person familiar.

Tesla fell comment. Villanueva did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Tesla has had to lessen its Model 3 production targets, in part because of issues with battery put together. Some employees involved in battery production told CNBC that the plc was assembling batteries by hand as recently as December, and said they were skeptical that it can pull off its revised goals and manufacture 5,000 Model 3s per week by June. Tesla take care ofs that it is on track to meet those goals.

Villanueva is one of several strong engineers to leave Tesla in recent months.

Earlier this month, Uber poached Celina Mikolajcza, a ex- senior manager for battery pack development at Tesla. She is now working on lam out cars for Uber.

Additionally, Jalopnik reported on the departures of Jason Mendez and Make McColl this month. They were, respectively, a senior vice-president for manufacturing engineering and a senior manager for equipment engineering, both implicated with the production of the Model 3, Tesla’s electric sedan.

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