Tesla has proven that it isn’t about doing things by the book. After building a revolutionary electric car from the ground up, the auto manufacturer is now considering something truly forward-thinking. Earlier this month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk hinted that he wanted to do something “fairly significant” in regards to Tesla’s patents. A few days later, he admitted that he was considering options to help blow away the barriers to growing the electric car market. So what’s his grand idea? Elon Musk is considering giving the patented Tesla Supercharger technology away.
It’s no secret that patent wars have held technology back throughout the years, but Musk wants to change that in order to help move the entire industry forward. On June 3, 2014, Musk announced at the annual shareholder meeting that the company wanted to do something “which would be kind of controversial with respect to Tesla’s patents.” On June 6, 2014, Musk told the BBC that he wanted to “figure out how to accelerate the advent of electric cars and to the degree that we create technological barriers for them, it’s not going to happen. We don’t want to cut a path through the jungle and then lay a bunch of land mines behind us.”
Yesterday Musk clarified the vague statements at the UK launch of the Model S, saying that he wants to open up the patents for the Tesla Supercharger system, which allows Tesla cars to charge extra quickly while on the go at no cost. Basically, the company would reveal some intellectual property to other car manufacturers in order to build a kind of universal charging system. Time will tell whether other manufacturers will take advantage of the offer, but imagine how much easier it would be for the electric car market to succeed in a world where every car manufacturer doesn’t have to build their own charging network from scratch.
Images via Tesla