Tesla is expanding its international R&D operations with a small office in Athens, Greece to develop new electric motor technologies. According to Greek Reporter, Tesla Greece has been officially registered, and expects to recruit up to 50 R&D staff over the next few months.
Why Greece? For one thing, three of Tesla’s top electric motor designers are Greek. Principal Motor Designer Konstantinos Laskaris (who recently spoke to Charged about designing a permanent magnet machine for Model 3), Motor Design Engineer Konstantinos Bourchas and Staff Motor Design Engineer Vasilis Papanikolaou were all members of the Prometheus EV research team at the National Technical University of Athens, which has won several international prizes for designing high-efficiency EVs.
“Tesla is building a small research and development office in Athens,” a Tesla spokesperson told Electrek. “This team will focus solely on limited research and development activities to accelerate electric motor technology development through close collaboration with our team in the US. Greece has strong electric motor engineering talent and technical universities, offering tailored programs and specialized skills for electric motor technology.”
Tesla will initially be operating from the National Center for Scientific Research (aka Demokritos) in Athens, the largest multidisciplinary research center in Greece. The team will start out small, with just 10 engineers.
Demokritos welcomed Tesla to its facility, expressing “particular satisfaction that a global innovation giant has chosen Demokritos as a base for one of its top research departments, that of designing electric engines.”