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.
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.
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: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anirudh-vijaykumar/