Ex-Tesla Engineer Departs Apple’s Car Project for Another Electric Startup

Michael Schwekutsch, a former Tesla engineer who was working for Apple’s Auto project, has officially departed the company to join electric aviation startup Archer, according to CNBC.

Archer is currently developing electric air taxis which feature a vertical take-off and landing routine.

The startup hopes to offer short trips to customers to help prevent added ground traffic, noise and emissions generated by gas vehicles and planes.

In an email on Wednesday, Schwekutsch said, “While automobiles have certainly progressed, the only way to see true climate reform is by not making only cars more sustainable, but every means of transportation. And air travel clearly has the biggest opportunity to become more sustainable.”

Schwekutsch was previously a Vice President of Engineering at Tesla, and he personally holds over 100 patents related to vehicle design.

In addition, Schwekutsch worked on the Tesla Model S Plaid design, as well as leading production on electric drive systems for Tesla, Porsche, BMW and other automakers, according to his online resume.

In 2019, commercial passenger aircraft produced 785 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, as shown by research from the International Council on Clean Transportation.

The move is only the most recent in a string of turnover from the company’s Auto department, with Car Chief Doug Field having left the company for Ford in September.