Tesla chief Elon Musk has suggested that the “freeing” of patents could help speed up electric car development – helping move sustainable transport to the mainstream.
The electric car manufacturer has so far enjoyed a steady rise in market share, reporting a growth in sales to 22,500 vehicles last year.
Although a long way off becoming a serious competitor in the global market, any decision to release patents into the wider industry would inevitably increase competition – while also expanding the electric car market and providing greater choice for consumers.
Asked by the BBC if the freeing of patents would mean the giving away of technology, Musk said, “You’re on the right track.”
He also added that Tesla had already proven that “it is possible to make a compelling electric car”, and that “sales are already up 50-60% more than last year.”
In freeing patents, Tesla would share innovation that has defined its leadership in the emerging industry, in an attempt to boost the wider sustainable transport sector. Musk added, “We don’t want to cut a path through the jungle and then lay a bunch of landmines behind us.”
Earlier this week, Musk announced at a shareholder meeting that Tesla would need to speed up the pace of adoption of electric cars, and that the firm was “playing with doing something fairly significant on this front which would be kind of controversial with respect to Tesla’s patents.”
Tesla delivered the first right-hand drive Model S electric cars to the UK on Saturday, with 50 Shades of Grey author EL James among its first customers. The car will retail at £70,000 and will be able to travel around 300 miles (480km) on a single charge.
The UK government has been working to boost electric car investment with a varied array of schemes, including the rollout of more electric chargepoints.
Earlier this year, Tesla became California’s leading auto-employer as Toyota moved its similar sized workforce to Texas. Other developments include the building of a ‘gigafactory’ to produce its innovative lithium-ion battery cells.
Photo: Jecoopr via Flickr