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Tesla opens its patents to accelerate the EV sector

In a blog post, CEO and co-founder Elon Musk said the company had initially taken out patents to protect its work from being copied by larger manufacturers, with the size of manufacturing, sales and marketing operations to dwarf new startup Tesla.

But, he said, electrically-driven vehicles account for less than 1% of the major manufacturers’ output, some aren’t using the technology at all, and most have batteries with limited range.

‘Given that annual new vehicle production is approaching 100 million per year and the global fleet is approximately 2 billion cars, it is impossible for Tesla to build electric cars fast enough to address the carbon crisis,’ he said.

‘By the same token, it means the market is enormous. Our true competition is not the small trickle of non-Tesla electric cars being produced, but rather the enormous flood of gasoline cars pouring out of the world’s factories every day.’

Tesla’s Model S electric luxury car, which recently launched in right hand drive in the UK, offers a range of over 300 miles with the ability to replenish most of that range within half an hour using the company’s free-to-use Supercharger charging point network.

The platform will underpin a Model X SUV with four-wheel drive, due to launch next year, and a 20% smaller car is due in 2017 with the same range and prices starting at around £25,000. With aims to produce half a million vehicles per year by 2020, the company also has plans to open the world's largest battery factory by 2017.

‘We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform,’ said Musk.

Alex Grant

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