Elon Musk announced that all of Tesla Motor’s patents are now open to anyone who wishes to use the revolutionary technology.
Citing the open source movement as inspiration, he hopes to bring the world-changing electric car to more people, even if his company isn’t the one to make it. Put more simply, Linux + Flux Capacitor = Tesla.
Tesla Motors was founded in 2003, headquartered in Palo Alto, California. It has two models of vehicles currently available and is working on a third, all of which are fully electric. The cars are built like luxury sedans but behave like sports cars, all while using no combustible fuel sources. Named for the mustachioed Nikola Tesla, the company is headed by Elon Musk, who is also the driving force behind SpaceX.
Nikola Tesla was a brilliant mind far ahead of his time, and Tesla Motors makes space-age cars. To learn more about either subject, Matthew Inman has great comics on Tesla (the person) and Tesla (the car) at his website TheOatmeal.com. In short, Tesla Motors is the golden child of technologists.
It just got even more awesome by opening up its patents to anyone who “in good faith wants to use our technologies.” In a blog post amazingly titled “All Our Patent Are Belong To You,” Elon Musk proves that he’s not only well-versed in ’90’s memes, he’s a really good guy. “We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform.”
Apparently, lots of confused media inquiries about blog title. Look, we just to make sure they don't set us up the bomb.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 12, 2014
This is an unusual business strategy, especially in Silicon Valley where intellectual property is savagely guarded. Musk says that when he first started out in the technology business, he considered patents to be positive. As the CEO of Tesla, he considered them a barrier to progress, yet necessary to prevent huge auto companies from taking the ideas and running with them, manufacturing on a gigantic scale with which Tesla could never compete.
However the industry isn’t making electric cars. Less than 1% of total vehicle sales are electric cars. He considers their competition to be not other electric cars, but the gas guzzling vehicles accelerating the carbon crisis. Tesla Motors is concerned more with solving this calamity than ensuring a monopoly. “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.”
While noble, many critics are wondering if it will pay off for Musk as there’s no apparent financial gain for the company. Be that as it may, it’s already being widely speculated that Musk is positioning Tesla to be the industry standard, specifically for their super-charging stations.
What do you think? Is this an ingenious move or a fatal one? Let us know in the comments below or on the GEEK Facebook page!
Photos: Tesla Motors