Tesla Owner Elon Musk to Make Patents Public

Elon Musk is looking to change the world. The man is the closest thing there is to a real life Tony Stark, the character played by Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man, and partially based on Musk.

On Thursday, the Tesla Motors and SpaceX CEO announced that he has opened up the Palo Alto electric car company’s patents to all. In a seemingly altruistic move, Musk reasoned that the opening up of the patents to the industry will allow for the acceleration of the development of electric vehicles, which Musk believes will benefit everyone.

“Tesla Motors was created to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport. 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.” Musk said in the announcement. “Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.”

Musk, a longtime proponent of reducing global carbon emissions, hopes that the opening of the patents will spur advancements in preventing climate change.

“I don’t think people quite appreciate the gravity of what is going on [with regard to global warming] or just how much inertia the climate has,” Musk said. “We really need to do something. It would be shortsighted if we try to hold these things close to our vest.”

From a financial perspective, the move also makes sense for Musk. One of the main obstacles to the spread of Tesla and other electric cars is the logistics of where and how they can be charged. The Tesla Model S can drive roughly 300 miles on a single charge, and can be charged with any electrical outlet. However, for longer trips, the quick and efficient “charging stations” which can refuel the Tesla’s battery are limited throughout the country, making the Tesla less practical for the average consumer.

Musk believes that the opening up of Tesla’s patents will help facilitate the expansion of battery charging stations throughout the country. With more companies being able to develop electric transportation, the creation of a common electric recharging infrastructure would help drive the expansion of the industry.

Musk has already been in talks with executives from BMW about splitting the costs of such a project. BMW spokesman Kenn Sparks said, “both companies are strongly committed to the success of electro-mobility and discussed how to further strengthen the development of electro mobility on an international level.”

Musk isn’t worried about competition in the electric car market, and sees Tesla’s position as the leader in the industry as secure. Musk writes, “our true competition is not the small trickle of non-Tesla electric cars being produced, but rather the enormous flood of gasoline cars pouring out of the world’s factories every day.”