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Engineer runner-up: J.B. Straubel
CTO, Tesla

Straubel is on the forefront of electric vehicle development. Tesla founder Elon Musk in 2003 hired Straubel, 34, to help develop technology for Tesla's Roadster, the first limited-production high-performance electric sports car that accelerates from 0 to 60 in less than four seconds. Since then, the Roadster has sold out, Tesla has gone public, and the company is moving full steam ahead on developing the 2012 Model S, a four-door family sedan with a base price of $49,900 after a tax credit. "One of the most interesting dilemmas we'll face is the transition from a fossil-fuel-based system to a renewable-energy-based system," he says. "It's exciting to be at this tipping point, to explore solutions and map out a new transportation infrastructure." --J.P.M.

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Last updated July 09 2010: 1:19 PM ET
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