Text: Vince Pornelos / Photos: Tesla Motors | posted June 14, 2014 16:04
Kickstarting a revolution
Tesla Motors has just made automotive history: they have released all their patents on their technology regarding automobile electrification.
Automotive technology, especially advanced, hybrid or electric vehicle technology are closely guarded secrets by their respective manufacturers and/or patent holders. For Tesla, that isn't the case anymore. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, made the landmark announcement in a blog post on the company's website.
“Yesterday, there was a wall of Tesla patents in the lobby of our Palo Alto headquarters,” said Musk in his blog post. “That is no longer the case. They have been removed, in the spirit of the open source movement, for the advancement of electric vehicle technology”.
The move by Musk allows anyone to use Tesla's own technologies to develop their own electric vehicles without fear of litigation. Musk says is part of Musk's vision to help the fight against climate change by allowing the rapid and open development of electric cars everywhere.
“If we clear a path to the creation of compelling electric vehicles, but then lay intellectual property landmines behind us to inhibit others, we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal,” continued Musk. “Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology”.
The release of all of Tesla's patents means that other manufacturers such as Toyota, Mitsubishi, Ford, General Motors and the like can all make use of Tesla's once proprietary technologies. Musk cited that the EV programs of major carmakers constitute only about 1% of total vehicle sales.
“Given that annual new vehicle production is approaching 100 million per year and the global fleet is approximately 2 billion cars, it is impossible for Tesla to build electric cars fast enough to address the carbon crisis. By the same token, it means the market is enormous. Our true competition is not the small trickle of non-Tesla electric cars being produced, but rather the enormous flood of gasoline cars pouring out of the world’s factories every day”.
“We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform,” said Elon Musk.
Do you think Tesla's move will start an electric vehicle revolution? Tell us in the comments below.