Anirudh Vijaykumar – From Tesla to Pravaig

I’ve been wanting to write this article for a while now. A quick look through Pravaig’s employee list on LinkedIn and you’ll come across Anirudh’s profile. No display picture, and a to the point description that reads “Batteries @ Pravaig | Ex Tesla”.

Anirudh completed his Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Post that, he worked at Applied Materials as a Senior Product Engineer for 4 years. After his long stint at Applied Materials, he turned his attention to the most famous EV Company in the world – Tesla Motors. Luckily, we don’t have to assume what his life at Tesla was like and why he then decided to join Pravaig, because I managed to get a hold of the man to hear what he had to say.

What was your exact role at Tesla? What did you build?

I Joined as a product engineer for the 100kWh module. I handled everything design-related on the production floor, from prototypes to production-ready modules. As an integral part of the module team, I was the voice of design on the shop floor. The cell-to-cell interconnect was my pet project, including extensive testing and qualifying, to make sure it’s ultra-reliable and safe. I also carried out sustainable design changes, supplier onboarding, and life testing of batteries. I experienced both sides – production as well as design. I also supported legacy products like the roadster 1.0, the Mercedes OEM line, and the initial Tesla energy modules.

Later, I transitioned to Battery Module Design Engineer on the module team. In that role, I supported and designed various components on the battery module for model 3 and got those parts into production. Battery safety and material testing for battery safety was also something very close to me. I worked closely with material scientists to qualify a key production process as part of the design.

As a special project, I was also responsible for the design, fabrication, and assembly (with a select few members ) of the roadster 2.0 battery pack. You might have seen it during the public release of the model 3 , where the roadster 2.0 was revealed to the public.

I was also responsible for the design, fabrication and assembly of the Roadster 2.0 battery

on what he did at Tesla

When and why did you decide to join Pravaig?

I took a sabbatical and came back to India with the hope of doing something in the EV space in my home country, and also be closer to my family. I spent a few months traveling throughout India. I met Siddhartha while I was on a break in Bangalore. Pravaig’s Bangalore presence was just about starting up. I was impressed with the idea of Pravaig and how taking back control resonated with my future dreams of a better way to travel in an Indian City. I wanted to use my experience and knowledge and build a great product with great engineers. More than just pride, for me, this is the only way forward, a kind of reverse brain drain. Furthermore, it’s just plain fun and exciting to be part of a revolution.

It’s just plain fun and exciting to be part of a revolution.

Anirudh on why he joined Pravaig

What’s the coolest thing about the battery pack that you’re making at Pravaig?

IMO, The entire battery pack is pretty cool. The coolest part though, if I have to choose, would be the fact that I get to work with the most talented team of engineers and we solve real problems.

There you have it. I’ve interviewed the brains behind Pravaig’s 500 km per charge battery – and he’s humble, patriotic, and clearly very smart.

Anirudh’s LinkedIn Profile:

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8 thoughts on “Anirudh Vijaykumar – From Tesla to Pravaig”

  1. It’s exciting to see somebody return to India to build here.
    But I’m don’t think the Indian company culture can keep up their levels. This seems to be a rare exception

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