How A Former Tesla Engineer Is Crafting The First Electric Racecar

Written by Ann Brown

California engineer-turned-entrepreneur Azizi Tucker has a vision.

The former Tesla engineer wanted to build his own electric car startup. So he went to Asia and partnered with Royce Hong, CEO of XING Mobility in Taiwan. Tucker is now chief technology officer of electric vehicle startup XING Mobility, and he’s about to release his own own version of an electric racecar, Miss R.

Tucker, who previously worked for NASA and Tesla, always loved cars and even worked in the auto industry in Detroit. This, Tucker, told Taiwan News, “had been my dream, but as I got closer to that dream of being a car designer, I realized that the auto industry wasn’t producing the products that I was interested in making, and was heavily impacted by the bankruptcies and bailouts of the year 2000.”

After nearly four years in the Detroit car industry, Tucker moved on to work at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre so he could work in cutting-edge technology.

“At NASA I had a great experience doing composite structures and cooling systems for spacecraft, but I’d work for sometimes years on a project and I couldn’t tell anybody about it! I felt a little bit hollow, a little bit empty that I couldn’t share what I was doing, and also the pace of work was really slow. So I moved back to California and joined Tesla Motors in late 2006 when there were maybe 60-80 people in the whole company,” Tucker said.

Tucker stayed at Tesla until 2012 and was part of the launch of the Tesla Model S and the Tesla Roadster. During that time he learned about the automotive supply chain, particularly in Taiwan.

Tucker came to Taiwan as a senior supplier development engineer. He told EE Times, “In this role, I was responsible for ensuring the supplier could manufacture the parts Tesla needed. A large portion of my time was spent in Taiwan, in part helping get the Tesla motor factory up and running in Linkou, Taiwan.” With motor assembly in Taiwan, Tesla had an extensive local supply chain.

Tucker liked Taiwan, “and it seemed like a good sort of place to do business so I made the decision to move out permanently, consulting and making racecars here,” he said. After meeting Hong, Tucker discovered they had a common vision.

“We discovered a shared interest in disruptive technology,” Tucker said in a Taiwan News interview. “We decided to found a company with a focus on electric vehicles, and started XING Mobility.”

At XING, Tucker says he wants to create the kind of electric car he would drive.

“As much as I love the Tesla Roadster and the Model S, my mother drives a model S, and it’s a car for my mother, it’s not a car for me. I mean, it’s almost a perfect car for my mother, but for me, it leaves something to be desired. From a business standpoint, Tesla have done exactly what they need to do, which is to go from the sports car to the SUV, to more of a mainstream car. But that shift away from sports cars left a big hole in the market,” he told Taiwan News.

Tucker sees the opportunity to create the highest-performance electric car. In his mind, this will be Miss R.

“I would say the performance of the car will be the most exciting aspect, you know, being able to do 0-100km/h in less than 2 seconds is definitely going to be pretty exciting,” he said.

electric racecar
Azizi Tucker Azizi of Xing Mobility in front of his 300 km/hr electric racecar. Photo: craigfergusonimages/Instagram