|The Tesla S is selling well, but can't afford to hit a wall|
One of the problems of electric cars is enough charging stations. Another one is economies of scale; making enough battery packs and cars to make them profitable, yet affordable to consumers. So how do you assist electric cars to become cheaper to buy, more user friendly, and as a consequence, more accepted?
The usual way in the car industry has been many companies inefficiently duplicating and protecting R & D as as they slowly move forward (recently discussed here.) That may be about to change with a non-traditional car maker Tesla wanting to share technology. Tesla has said it would allow others to use its intellectual property rights to speed up the growth of the product. It says the whole industry would benefit from open-source sharing with this technology.
This may seem strange when the usual scenario sees copyright closely guarded and protected by the owners. However, Tesla needs electric car sales to improve for it's benefit. Therefore, refusing to allow others to use the technology works against that objective. It is an obvious conclusion to reach. In fact, in many cases copyright litigation stifles progress.
It is good that someone is thinking outside the square. Several manufacturers have already held talks with Tesla about how to move forward with technology sharing. Of course Tesla has to obtain patents on it's electric developments, otherwise other companies could then procure the development and then use copyright to stop others - including Tesla - from using it.
In summary: Tesla is a business and not a philanthropic society. It's motive in sharing the copyright technology it has is to benefit itself in the long run. Still, it is good to see lateral thinking in the automotive industry. It's lack of history in automobile manufacturing is breaking the mold, and revealing a fresh approach to how to operate with each other. This hopefully will inspire others to do likewise and get electric cars out there.