Electric car maker Tesla Motors has opened up its technology patents to the public and guaranteed it will not launch lawsuits as long as the company’s technology is used in “good faith”.
Tesla chief executive Elon Musk – also founder of Paypal – said it was “impossible” for the company to build electric cars fast enough to deal with the global environmental crisis and said he hoped the move would boost development.
“Tesla Motors was created to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport,” he 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.
“Given that annual new vehicle production is approaching 100 million per year and the global fleet is approximately two billion cars, it is impossible for Tesla to build electric cars fast enough to address the carbon crisis. By the same token, it means the market is enormous.”
He added: “We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform.”
Tesla, which is well known for its flagship Roadster model, will make future patents open alongside the company’s 203 current ones.
In August last year, Musk released initial designs for the Hyperloop – billed the “fifth mode of transport” - which would use solar power to transport people in pods that could reach a speed of 800mph.
Musk has kept the project similarly open and said he will not patent the design in order to allow others more involvement in building and modifying designs.