Patent Medicine: Tesla makes its technology available to everyone, for free, in bold move for the planet
June 16, 2014
By Mark Rogowsky | Forbes: Noting that the global auto market is approaching 100 million vehicles annually and that, “It is impossible for Tesla to build electric cars fast enough to address the carbon crisis,” CEO Elon Musk announced today that the automaker is making all of its patents freely available on a good-faith basis. In a blog post on Tesla’s website, the company said it originally feared others would copy its technology, so it was aggressive in protecting intellectual property. But the way things have played out, automakers are making barely any zero-emission vehicles at all, typically less than 1% of their total production. Tesla hopes this move will begin to change that.
Musk held a conference call to discuss the move in more detail, and he clarified the company’s intentions: Tesla doesn’t believe this will change things overnight. And he’s right. Automakers take years to get new vehicles to market and longer still to ramp up production. Nissan’s Leaf, the leading EV in the world, which costs a fraction of the Tesla Model S only recently cracked the 100,000 sold mark after more than 3 years. Outside of Tesla, no pure zero-emission vehicle has achieved anywhere near those sales. But in a world with 2 billion vehicles, it’s a drop in the bucket.