To increase momentum in the electric car industry, United States’ largest electric car-maker Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk said that any other firms can use Tesla’s patents on their electric vehicles and in response, his company wouldn’t file any kind of lawsuits against the infringements.
In the spirit of the open source movement, for the advancement of electric vehicle technology, Elon Musk said in a blog post:
“Tesla Motors was created to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport. 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. Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.”
During the conference call, Tesla CEO said that he don’t want to overstate the value of patents, where he also noted that his another space company SpaceX, virtually has no patents and it’s not affecting the company competitively.
“If a company is relying on patents, it’s in a weak position. They’re not innovating fast enough. You want to be innovating so fast that you invalidate your prior patents.”
As of now, major car manufacturers are selling less than 1 percent of electric vehicles out of their other vehicles. If these companies start producing 100 percent of their vehicles as electric vehicles, then the 2 billion cars on the road would take 20 more years to completely replaced by the electric vehicles.
Elon Musk also said that none of the other companies are competing with Tesla’s battery technology that gives tremendous mileage on a single charge. As he has taken the climate change initiative seriously, he don’t want to keep the patents close to his chest and he expects the other companies will also follow the same path to help reducing the damage to the environment.
In business-sense perspective, you might think that this guy has gone nuts, but wait, he has a long-term plan. As we all know that Tesla’s Gigafactory has the ability to produce large number of batteries (around 500,000 per year) and it would need more customers for its batteries. Hence, by making Tesla’s electric vehicle-related patents as open source, the company is trying to increase the momentum in the EV Industry. And the “Good Faith” might be focused on partnering with Tesla for its batteries on other brands’ EVs.
Tesla is aiming at world’s largest battery manufacturer and it could be possible in coming years, if it sells large number of batteries that being produced by its massive Gigafactory. Surprisingly, Elon Musk also said that he hopes other brands would also build their own Gigafactoris.
Meanwhile, Tesla would not stop applying for patents, as the other companies don’t adapt those technologies to block Tesla and other companies from using those technologies.
Tesla CEO also pointed about some level of “quid pro quo” to balance the patent values, if Tesla uses others’ patented technology and the others uses Tesla’s.
Meanwhile, there are rumors and speculation surfaced, which suggests that the German car-maker BMW and Tesla are planning on signing a long-term agreement over sharing their respective technologies for the betterment of both the companies as well as environment. BMW will be sharing its lightweight carbon fiber technology as well as production knowledge with Tesla. BMW i3 is the popular small electric car, while the company could launch its i8 plug-in hybrid car in the end of 2014.