The US-based electric car manufacturer is set to hand over its entire patent portfolio to the public in order to encourage others to collaborate with Elon Musk and his team of engineers to promote the development of the electric car.

In a blog on the company’s website, company founder Elon Musk said: “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.”

The move could see the Californian firm collaborate with a number of manufacturers that are already working on electric propulsion systems, such as Nissan and Toyota.

It could also mean that manufacturers could share the cost of Tesla’s proposed charging system that would appear at service stations up and down the country, making it easier for electric car owners to travel further in their vehicles.

Tesla’s current vehicle line-up consist of just one car, the Model S, but the sleek saloon can travel an amazing 265 miles on a single charge, compared to the 84 miles possible in a Nissan Leaf.

Allowing automotive manufacturers access to Tesla’s cutting-edge research could see the advent of electric vehicles with improved range and more impressive performance figures, not to mention access to the Tesla Supercharger network, which can replenish half of the battery in just 20 minutes.

Putting in long hours for a corporation is hard. Putting in long hours for a cause is easy – Elon Musk, CEO and founder of Tesla Motors

Prashand Kumta, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s school of engineering, told The Guardian that Tesla’s lithium-ion battery technology isn’t unique. But how the company packages that technology and designs its cars could be useful to other companies.

“Technology leadership is determined by where the best engineers want to work,” Musk said. “Putting in long hours for a corporation is hard. Putting in long hours for a cause is easy.”

Leon Poultney


June 16, 2014