Yesterday, there was a wall of Tesla patents in the lobby of our Palo Alto headquarters. That is no longer the case. They have been removed, in the spirit of the open source movement, for the advancement of electric vehicle technology.
What are the estimated outcome of releasing information for a start up like Tesla ?
Elon Musk says that his true competitor is the massive worldwide fleet of gasoline vehicles, but he may be understating a threat posed by development of hydrogen-powered vehicles, considered by many to be a viable alternative to lithium ion electric vehicles.
Toyota plans to release a hydrogen-powered sedan in 2015 in Japan which can be refueled in three minutes, providing a 430-mile range. The sedan, which will likely be priced at about $70,000, offers a quicker charge time and a further driving range than Tesla’s Model S and only produces water vapor as exhaust. By encouraging the implementation of lithium ion technologies by American car manufacturers, Tesla may be attempting to secure a stake in alternative energy industries against hydrogen fuel cell energy storage.
Within five days of Elon Musk’s blog post announcing Tesla’s open source philosophy, the company’s stock price improved by almost $30 per share. There’s little doubt that Musk’s announcement contributed to an increase in Tesla’s short-term value, or at least didn’t hinder stock value.
As well, Musk has positioned himself as the open source provider of electric vehicle technologies, at least for the American market. The proliferation of electric and electric-hybrid vehicles on our streets may be a noble goal, but Musk’s comments on patents don’t exactly align with the patent filing activities of Tesla Motors, and it seems clear that he has a financial interest in encouraging lithium ion battery use in vehicles.