Tomahawk, WI 06/16/2014 (Basicsmedia) – Reporting on the auto industry and especially the electric vehicle segment, CNBC Auto reporter Phil Lebeau, on June 12 in the show ‘Behind the Wheels’, discussed the details of a recent announcement by Tesla Motors’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk, to open up its electric vehicle patents to the auto industry.

As said by Phil “this is something that we have heard in the tech industry, but it is really unheard of when you come to the auto industry.” The report mentions that Tesla would be opening all of its patents i.e. at least hundreds of them now and maybe thousands of them later on, for other competitors to use, with a mention in CEO Elon Musk’s blog that “as long as others use these patents in good faith.”

During Phil’s discussion with Brian Sullivan, co-anchor of CNBC’s Street Signs, Brain noted that Tesla’s move would be targeted at attracting competitors ‘to come ahead and invest in infrastructure for electric vehicles, so that Tesla benefits from the same in the long run.’

Phil suggested that, Tesla Motors’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) being business oriented, this move could also be to let competitors adopt Tesla’s technology and then say “we have got the supercharger network, and since other automakers are using our blueprints for their technology, they are coming into our network as well.”

Phil also took reference from a conference call recording of Tesla’s Elon Musk, who said that, he is disappointed with the pace of electric vehicle development and even after seven years of launching the Tesla Roadster, there has not been equivalent competing technology.

Hence, holding a patent is like limiting the competitiveness and its time that they open up their patents and attempt to spur large-scale electric vehicle development.

Phil noted that in 2013, out of total sales of 15.5 million vehicles, electric vehicles sold were less than 100,000. As a result, Phil feels that this move was necessary if Tesla wants to achieve scale over the next 10 to 20 years.

The bottom line as per Phil is “for sales to take off, they need to have the price come down on batteries and more energy in those batteries so that you get more range in the vehicles.” 

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