A Tesla Model Y engineer, who suggested the heat pump’s inclusion, has left the company after ten years, his LinkedIn account said.
Joseph Mardall served as the Engineering Director for Tesla from April 2018 to January 2021 but has held several other roles with the electric automaker since joining the company in February 2011 as a Senior Thermal Engineer.
Arguably, Mardall’s largest accomplishment while working with Tesla was the groundbreaking Model Y heat pump, a system that was included in the all-electric crossover to handle cold temperatures and combat range loss due to winter climates. Mardall led three teams with 60 or more engineers responsible for developing new HVAC systems that would be compatible with electric vehicles. One solution was the heat pump, an idea that came from Mardall’s engineering teams and has been a big hit with proven success in the Model Y.
CEO Elon Musk even told Teslarati in March 2020 that the heat pump was “some of the best engineering I’ve seen in a while. Team did next-level work.”
Model Y heat pump is some of the best engineering I’ve seen in a while. Team did next-level work.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 23, 2020
Mardall is headed to Zipline as the Head of Engineering. He will be working with a team of engineers “to design and build the next generation of autonomous drones to provide every human on Earth with instant access to vital medical supplies,” his LinkedIn account says. He states that the highlights of his career at Tesla “included the ground breaking Model Y Heat Pump system and leading Tesla’s efforts to develop a ventilator.”
“After 10 wonderful years at Tesla, I’m super excited to start my next chapter as Head of Engineering at Zipline, working with a team of talented and committed engineers to provide every human on Earth with instant access to vital medical supplies. The next 5 years are going to change everything, and I can’t wait! We are hiring for all roles across engineering and I would love to hear from you – come fly with me!”
Interestingly, Mardall has some medical equipment development experience, even though his work before Tesla was at McLaren Racing. Mardall worked intensively on the Tesla ventilator developed by company engineers last year. As the COVID-19 pandemic raged on, Tesla was donating third-party ventilators to hospitals in need but decided to develop its own. The ventilator prototype that Tesla built was comprised completely of parts from the Model 3 sedan, including the dash screen to see measurements of patient vitals. Mardall was present in Tesla’s video of the ventilator, posted in April 2020.
It is unclear who Tesla will place in the Engineering Director Role currently. Mardall’s work at Tesla was innovative and crucial, and many Model Y (and Model 3 Refresh) owners will thank him every day for the duration of their ownership!