In what it claims is a move done “in the spirit of the open source movement”, Tesla Motors has announced that it will open up its electric vehicle patents to be used by anyone, including other car manufacturers. CEO Elon Musk said that the company “will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology”.
The outspoken head honcho claimed that while patents were useful a long time ago, they were now mainly used to “stifle progress, entrench the positions of giant corporations and enrich those in the legal profession”, and that receiving a patent simply meant that “you bought a lottery ticket to a lawsuit”.
“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,” he said.
Musk added that while Tesla originally obtained the patents out of fear that other manufacturers would copy its technology and muscle them out of the competition with their wealth of manufacturing, sales and marketing resources, the reality is that electric vehicle and other zero-emissions programmes from major manufacturers are small to non-existent.
“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,” said Musk. “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.
“Technology leadership is not defined by patents, but rather by the ability of a company to attract and motivate the world’s most talented engineers. We believe that applying the open source philosophy to our patents will strengthen rather than diminish Tesla’s position in this regard.”
Could it be possible for Malaysian car manufacturers like Proton or Perodua to use these EV patents to produce a modern range of high performance electric cars?
Tesla Model S