Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk is opening their electric car technology to everyone. Starting today, anyone can use Tesla’s patented electric car technology to create a product. Tesla’s patents are now for everyone.

Why would Tesla do this? Musk said that by taking this action, it would encourage more companies to make electric cars such as Tesla’s Model S.

“Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology,” Musk wrote.

Musk also talks about why his company felt the need to create the patents in the first place.

“We felt compelled to create patents out of concern that the big car companies would copy our technology and then use their massive manufacturing, sales and marketing power to overwhelm Tesla. We couldn’t have been more wrong. The unfortunate reality is the opposite: electric car programs (or programs for any vehicle that doesn’t burn hydrocarbons) at the major manufacturers are small to non-existent, constituting an average of far less than 1% of their total vehicle sales.”

According to Musk, annual new vehicle production is nearing 100 million per year. He says it’s impossible for Tesla to build electric cars quick enough in order to address the growing carbon emission crisis.

Tesla’s not worried about this new open source philosophy impacting their bottom line. “We believe that applying the open source philosophy to our patents will strengthen rather than diminish Tesla’s position in this regard.”

Will any major auto companies jump on board? I doubt it, but now they really don’t have any excuse.

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