Wiebe Janssen

Co-founder Universe Energy | EV systems architect | ex-Tesla/Lightyear

Amsterdam, NL

How does this work?

I’m trained as an aerospace systems engineer to make things go fast and fly high and I applied these design skills to early EV products. I developed battery structures and a falcon-wing door system for Tesla Model X and launched the Tesla Model 3 prototype in the design studio. To make EV’s charge themselves, I designed the longest range powertrain and developed the product architecture for a solar scale-up called Lightyear, awarded Time Best Inventions. While doing so, I led engineering teams through fast-paced product programs in collaboration with technology partners. To grow startups, I define product roadmaps, recruit core team members, and support in closing funding rounds. I'm driven to develop scalable infrastructure to accelerate the energy transition. I'm excited to realize this into the 21st-century energy grid by scaling the deployment of energy storage.

Ask me about
Battery Modules
Battery Ventures
Electric vehicle
Product Development Management
Systems engineering
Energy transition
Product architecture
Team management
3D Printing
Energy grid
Work experience

Aug 2021 - Present

Universe Energy


For a truly clean energy transition to manifest, we must replace mining. There’s a way to scale recycling into the largest source of new batteries. This is Universe Energy’s mission. EV batteries are fundamentally challenging to recycle today, being disassembled slowly and by hand. Universe Energy automates disassembly with machine vision and robotics. Our technology unlocks battery recycling to the order of magnitude needed for a true energy revolution.


Jan 2018 - Dec 2020


EV systems architect

Lightyear designs, develops and builds solar-powered electric vehicles to provide clean mobility for all. It solves the barriers of range and charging convenience by system integration of its efficient powertrain, aerodynamic design with integrated solar panels, and lightweight chassis. Driven product definition, concept, and architecture. Lead systems engineer of the drivetrain system that integrates four direct-drive in-wheel motors, inverters, and a propulsion control unit. It’s core technology for the Lightyear One to achieve 725 km WLTP range on a 60-kWh battery.


Sep 2014 - May 2016


Hardware Engineer

★ Hardware engineer | Design Studio | Hawthorne, CA, U.S.A. Developed the exterior design for the first prototypes of Tesla Model 3 such that the lowest drag coefficient in its class (0.23) was achieved. Ensured performance requirements on aerodynamic design. ★ Hardware engineer | Vehicle Engineering | Fremont, CA, U.S.A. Engineered the battery structure of the Tesla Model X so that a 5-star NHTSA crash-rating was achieved. Ensured vehicle requirements on structural design, improved mass optimization, and enhanced safety performance. Designed battery pack structures, developed falcon wing-door system simulations, analyzed robotics performance for manufacturing operations.


2013 - 2016

Technische Universiteit Delft

Master's Degree, Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical/Space Engineering

2012 - 2013

Technische Universiteit Delft

Master's Degree, Management of Technology

2005 - 2011

Technische Universiteit Delft

Bachelor’s Degree, Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical/Space Engineering

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