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Tesla wants carmakers to shamelessly copy its electric cars

Published Jun 13th, 2014 7:45AM EDT
Tesla Electic Car Technology

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Unlike other tech giants who spend plenty of money and cash in courts on patent-related lawsuits, Tesla wants others to copy its technology to make electric cars, as the carmaker has announced that all its tech discoveries will be available to competitors free of charge, and lawsuit-free.

“Tesla Motors was created to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk wrote on the company’s blog in a post titled “All Our Patent Are Belong To You.” “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.”

Musk further revealed that Tesla patented all its discoveries out of fear that competitors with massive manufacturing capabilities and marketing power would be able to copy its technology and then “overwhelm Tesla.” However, it appears that wasn’t the case, as major manufacturers are yet to widely adopt zero emissions cars.

“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,” Musk added. “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.”

BMW has already talked to Tesla about the latter’s Supercharging technology, but not only, with both companies having confirmed the meetings.

“Both companies are strongly committed to the success of electro-mobility and discussed how to further strengthen the development of electro-mobility on an international level,” BMW spokesman Kenn Sparks told The Verge.

“For high-speed charging in particular, I think that’s a great area for commonality among manufacturers,” Musk said in a conference call on Tesla’s open patents initiative. “In fact, the team from BMW was visiting Tesla last night. We talked about potential ways to collaborate, and one of them was on the Supercharging network. We’re more than happy to have other manufacturers use our Supercharging network and / or to build superchargers and install them, and then maybe have some sort of cross-use agreement.”

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.