Tesla Motors may be worth over $25 billion, but founder Elon Musk’s dreams aren’t all about the money.
The bigger picture, according to Musk, is to make clean transportation easier for everyone, and not just those who can afford the luxury-car-priced Tesla Model S, which comes with exclusive access to the growing network of Tesla Superchargers. On his own, Elon Musk has made Tesla Motors a model of electric vehicle capability and infrastructure, but he doesn’t want it to be so exclusive.
Given that there are competing electric vehicle charging standards, and that Tesla Motors is really in a league of its own, encouraging people to adopt electric vehicles hasn’t been easy. There’s simply too much confusion. Imagine having to drive past three “other” electric vehicle charging stations on your way to “your” charging station, not because the other three are occupied, but because they’re not the right protocol? In an effort to create a standard, SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) and automakers have been somewhat at odds, but a recent announcement by Tesla Motors could help to force a change.
Tesla Motors’ patents are what help to keep the very successful company ahead of its competition, from battery pack design and construction to the Tesla Supercharger electric vehicle charging station and protocol. Elon Musk says that he may turn over a number of these patents for other automakers and charging station manufacturers, if it would help to create a universal electric vehicle charging standard.
The open-source model, if Tesla Motors goes through with turning over its patents, could greatly expand the electric vehicle market and infrastructure. If turning over patents helps to lead to a new standard, even if it isn’t the Supercharger standard, it would certainly help to make electric vehicle ownership an easier prospect.
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