Tesla Welcomes Competition, Makes all Patents Open Source

Tesla CEO Elon Musk will share its technology with “anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.” The move is part of a larger bid to increase the number and quality of electric vehicles on the road.

Musk has remarked on numerous occasions that he would welcome more players in the electric vehicle segment, because the competition would amp up the stakes and push automakers to produce more advanced technologies to the benefit of the consumer.

“It is impossible for Tesla to build electric cars fast enough to address the carbon crisis,” Musk said in a company blog post. “Our true competition is not the small trickle of non-Tesla electric cars being produced, but rather the enormous flood of gasoline cars.”

Financially this open-source policy toward electric technology might not make a ton of sense, especially for a company that has been criticized for its limited revenue stream and inflated stock value. Musk is right to say that electric vehicles still account for a miniscule amount (less than 1 percent) of total vehicle sales. Tesla’s hope is that by removing the restrictions on access to electric vehicle technologies, the industry as a whole will grow and flourish.

Tesla is no stranger to collaboration with regard to its electric vehicle technologies. Toyota previously partnered with Tesla in a battery-supply tie-up for the RAV4 EV, while the new 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive benefits from Tesla battery technology.

No doubt the Tesla Model S holds an uncommon place in the market, given that it straddles luxury, performance, and electric vehicle categories. If Tesla gets its way, its newly available patents will jump-start engineering and innovation and transform the company into a proper industry leader, rather than a stand-alone outlier.

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