6/15/2014 | 1 MINUTE READ

Tesla Offers to Give Away its EV Patents

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Electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc. is offering to share its entire portfolio of patents to "anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology."

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Electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc. is offering to share its entire portfolio of patents to "anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology." CEO Elon Musk, who has been hinting at the giveaway for weeks, says the plan will help accelerate growth for the struggling electric car industry.

He also predicts the move will help attract top engineering talent to Tesla.

Musk acknowledges that Tesla alone won't have a big impact on the size of the EV market. In a blog on the company's Web site, articulates his thinking about granting access to the company's patents this way: "If we clear a path to the creation of compelling electric vehicles, but then lay intellectual property landmines behind us to inhibit others, we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal."

Tesla has been granted some 203 patents and has another 280 pending applications, according to a regulatory filing. It isn't clear which ones might be of interest to other EV developers. Tesla's lithium-ion batteries aren't unique, for example. But the way the company has packaged them in its Model S electric sedan is unusual.

One group of patents likely to draw attention are those relating to Tesla's high-power Supercharger charging stations. The company has installed more than 70 such facilities in the U.S., is building more than 30 in Europe and say it will begin erecting them soon in China. The solar-powered stations can restore half the energy capacity of a Model S in about 20 minutes, but the facilities so far have been available only for Tesla cars.

BMW AG has confirmed it has opened discussions with Tesla about a possible Supercharger partnership to support its just-introduced i-series line of electric vehicles.