By on June 10, 2014


Ever wanted your own Tesla, but didn’t have the thousands of dollars to order one? The automaker could soon make your dream possible by providing the patents to anyone who wants to make their own Tesla-based EV.

Autoblog Green reports CEO Elon Musk is considering making the patents to his EV tech freely available for anyone to use as a way to expand the EV market. Musk remarked during the United Kingdom market introduction of the RHD Model S that he didn’t just “want to cut a path through the jungle” only to lay out mines behind him, but did want “to write something so that [he could] articulate it properly and explain the reasoning for the decision” prior to freeing up the patents.

As for when such an announcement would occur, Tesla had “nothing further at this point” to say. Musk has freely distributed technology in the past to any and all interested parties, including the automaker’s Supercharger, and the Hyperloop rapid transit system.

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11 Comments on “Tesla May Soon Make EV Patents Available To All...”

  • avatar

    I’d much rather have the Volt’s gas-backup technology in a car tge same dimensions as the Impala (which has a larger rear seat than my 300)…

    …and the Model S’s performance.

    I want to have my cake and to eat it too.

    • 0 avatar

      1,000 Mile Range EV’s, will eliminate hybrids and a considerable amount of IC vehcles.

      Several new energy storing technologies could provide that range.

  • avatar

    Tesla’s the Jonas Salk of EV.

  • avatar

    “Freely available” doesn’t mean “free of charge.” I’m not sure stockholders would approve of giving away Tesla’s patents for no return.

    • 0 avatar

      OTOH, I was with Scott McNealy the day after he announced a new chip that was going to put us even farther ahead of the competition and all he could talk about was how the market hadn’t reacted nearly as well as when he gave away Java. There was a fear of a shareholder revolt over giving it away, but the market loved it.

    • 0 avatar

      All patents are published, and thus “freely available” to *read.* They are not “freely available” to *use,* except for such things as pure curiosity. Any attempt to benefit from a patent still in force, whether through business or personal use, requires licensing.

      But there is also a fact that companies owning patents have to pay to maintain their right to enforce the patents. One theory could be that Tesla has decided against paying those fees and thus letting the patents be unenforced.

  • avatar

    Musk is genius and is playing the long game:

    he’s got a niche market selling a handful of battery powered cars using a number of patented ideas, and making really a pittance of profit, but he proved that it works and it’s desirable.

    So then he decides that letting all the other car makers have them for free is a good idea so they can build hundreds of thousands of battery powered cars every year.

    Now all he needs to do is build a factory to make those batteries and then he’ll have a huge market ready and waiting to buy lots and lots of batteries that already made to work with the patents he provided for free.

    I swear the man must have owned a Polaroid camera when he was a kid.

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      This. Building up a critical mass of EV’s and compatible Supercharger stations can’t hurt Tesla, as they’re production limited for the foreseeable future.

      The other concern Musk has, but is downplaying at this time: Toyota and their upcoming hydrogen/fuel-cell lineup. Toyota has The hydrogen fueling infrastructure is near nonexistent, at this time, but filling a tank reportedly takes a 3 or so minutes. If the big H were to ever take off, there’s the chance Tesla could get seriously disrupted. Battery technology has never moved quickly and Toyota has dealerships everywhere.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s Betamax vs. VHS. It’s better for Tesla if it sets the industry standard for the technology and to get others to proliferate it than it is to try to monopolize it but stay tiny.

  • avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    I could see Tesla allowing others to use Superchargers, if:
    * They pony up a chunk of change upfront, comparable to what Tesla charges (say $1800-2000/vehicle)
    * Their batteries can accept no less than 90kW between 20-80% SoC

    For the charge rate requirement, I don’t see anyone other than Tesla providing such capability anytime soon, since you really need the massive array of individual cells that they use in order to get that sort of power at a safe rate (like say 2-3C charging). A 25kWh battery that could sustain ~3.6C charge rate between 20-80% SoC from a non-Tesla automaker? I’d like to see that!!

  • avatar

    Tesla just relinquished all of their patents related to EVs.

    ‘Yesterday, there was a wall of Tesla patents in the lobby of our Palo Alto headquarters. That is no longer the case. They have been removed, in the spirit of the open source movement, for the advancement of electric vehicle technology.

    At Tesla, however, we felt compelled to create patents out of concern that the big car companies would copy our technology and then use their massive manufacturing, sales and marketing power to overwhelm Tesla. We couldn’t have been more wrong. The unfortunate reality is the opposite: electric car programs (or programs for any vehicle that doesn’t burn hydrocarbons) at the major manufacturers are small to non-existent, constituting an average of far less than 1% of their total vehicle sales.

    Technology leadership is not defined by patents, which history has repeatedly shown to be small protection indeed against a determined competitor, 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.’

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