On Thursday, Tesla Motors released a statement on its blog saying that its patents for electric motor vehicles will now be open to the public. The company stated that it wants to be part of the open source movement. It will let the public have access to its technology, have an open conversation about it, to share ideas and improve it. Tesla Motors is not intimidated by other technology and automobile companies having access to its designs, but it welcome engineers to take on new projects to advance the production of more electric cars.
The company wants technology savvy designers to embrace this open source viewpoint to create and improve the market of electric cars. Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk stated that by having patents, the company had been building road blocks in the creation of new improved technologies of electric cars, and had been going against its own goal. The company has been successful in making profits with their electric-powered vehicles, but the price does not suit the average American. According to International Business Times, Tesla’s Model S3 sells for $70,000, and other electric cars not owned by the company are as high as $40,000. By opening its patents to the public, it could make electric cars more available for competition, and this might drive costs down, and make these types of cars more accessible to many U.S. drivers.
Tesla also expressed on its blog that the real competitors are factories making gas-powered cars, and not small companies already making electric vehicles. The motor company pointed out that electric cars constitute only one percent of total vehicles sales. Tesla Motors would like other car companies and start-ups to embrace its release of patents to the public, and improve on their technology to spur more competition for electric car sales. According to International Business Times, in the United States there are approximately 200,000 electric cars on the road, but only as many as 20,000 charging stations, which might make some buyers fearful of running out of power while driving. For gas motorized vehicles there are more than 120,000 gas stations around the country.
The company’s vision is not to just improve on electric cars’ technology, but also to expand on the quantity of charging stations around the U.S and the globe. These will serve not just the Tesla vehicles, but also other electric cars on the road. Currently Tesla Motors has the “Supercharging Station” which, according to the company, allows owners of the Model S to charge their vehicle in just 20 minutes, with enough battery power to get to the next station. This charging station is also free of charge and it can be found on most U.S. highways. Globally, the company has 97 “Supercharging Stations” in North America, 20 in Europe and 3 in Asia. The stations also provide the customer with a place to rest, as they are located near restaurants and roadside shopping centers.
Even though some are still skeptical of the intention of Tesla Motors’ release of its patents to the public, it has also been applauded by many of its customers and shareholders. The company’s statement went viral on the internet, and it has more than 400 comments on its blog. Tesla has even removed the “Patents Wall” that decorated the company’s headquarters in Palo Alto as a symbol of its new beginning as an open source enterprise.
By Marcia Villavicencio