After dropping a few hints about potentially sharing some of its electric vehicle patents, Tesla Motors is doing exactly that. The company is looking to open up the designs for its Supercharger fast-charging technology with potential competitors — something that might eventually mean it actually sells less cars.
Engadget reports that at the launch of the Model S in the UK — the car that recently went on sale in Australia as well — company boss Elon Musk told a gathering that he wanted to share previously protected and proprietary information about Tesla’s Supercharger stations, turning the existing network into the defacto worldwide standard for electric car charging.
Open-sourcing the company’s Supercharger tech, currently considered one of the best and fastest electric vehicle charging methods, would give current Tesla competitors like Nissan and BMW an instant leg-up in building and selling electric cars. Tesla’s Model S and upcoming Model X are the poster children for electric car tech at the moment, but established car-makers like Mitsubishi could easily eclipse the Californian startup in a few years.
Tesla’s Supercharger move might pay off in the long run, though. More electric cars on the road would remove some of the potential stigma of EVs — whether it is accurate or not — increasing the potential market for Tesla to sell to. Tangentially, and more importantly, it would eventually increase worldwide demand for electric cars, batteries for which would likely come from a Tesla Motors gigafactory.
Even if the sharing of Tesla Motors’ Supercharger tech and patents is nothing more than a noble move to advance the state of electric, emissions-free motoring, it’s a good thing for the company to do. [Engadget]