“In the spirit of the open source movement”, Tesla has removed patents to allow greater innovation from electric vehicle developers.

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk acknowledges that the real competitors of his company are’t the few other EV models on the market currently, but rather the “enormous flood of gasoline cars pouring out of the world’s factories every day.”

Like any other technology developer, Tesla created patents in order to avoid the theft of their ideas by competitors. However Musk believes that the opportunity to reduce emissions and move the world towards a more sustainable and efficient transport system is crucial, pointing out that currently EV accounts for less than 1% of total vehicle sales.

While removing patents is a bold move, and one that perhaps can be afforded only by the fact that Tesla is currently secure in its position as market leader, the decision will surely be inspiring for the global engineering community.

“We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform”, writes Musk. “Technology leadership is not defined by patents, […] but rather by the ability of a company to attract and motivate the world’s most talented engineers.”

Clearly dedicated to an EV future rather than dominated by its own bottom line, Tesla recently announced that a competitive pricing strategy in Europe and China, rather than taking advantage of markets traditionally open to the cost of luxury vehicles. Ensuring affordability and encouraging innovation may well be a strategy that maintains Tesla Motors’s position as global electric vehicle leader.


Read Elon Musk’s patent article here.