Recently, Tesla Motors appointed Doug Field as a Vice President to lead development of new vehicles. Their press release presented him as an employee of Apple Computers, having led development of their computers. This makes us think of him as a consumer electronics guy, and this points to Tesla’s product line as being like a consumer electronics device on wheels, that can go from 0-60 mph in under 5 seconds, and costs close to $100,000.
Tesla’s press release also describes his vehicle development experience very briefly, mentioning stints at Segway and Ford Motors. Without knowing about his history we might, as I did, skip right past that thinking “oh, that’s nice”.
However, the Facebook posting linked below shows we should stop and think about this. Doug Field was employee #1 of Segway. This is more significant than if he had been employee #173 or something, right? Being employee #1 means he almost certainly was deeply involved with development of the Segway Transporter. Was he involved with the over-the-top expectations-setting that Segway made?
In any case – does this mean Tesla Motors is going to take a look at developing electric scooters? I rather doubt it. Tesla has stayed focused on developing electric cars, and that task by itself is daunting enough to develop a mass market product. Electric scooters are a whole other ball-o-wax in terms of gaining acceptance in America.
What’s most likely is that he’ll focus on developing the mass market affordable electric car, Tesla’s 3rd generation car. Developing that car and getting acceptance at the 200,000+ car per year sales volume is such a huge task that we want the best people to focus on its development.
While it’s enticing to wonder what Tesla Motors might develop for personal transportation, essentially their take on an electric scooter, but to develop such a product would be a distraction from this big task, right?
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