This summer Elon Musk announced a game-changing move for the EV industry; Tesla Motors would allow competing automakers to use its patents, free of charge. Just a few months later and Musk claims that several rivals have taken him up on his offer, reports USA Today.
“We have had a number of inquiries from other car companies and we’ve told them to go ahead and use them,” Musk said in the interview. “I’m glad they are getting serious about electric cars,” he later added. “And they should.”
While Musk didn’t name names, two of the first companies to approach the Silicon Valley automakers were BMW and Nissan, which were most likely intrigued by the fast-and-free Supercharger stations. Daimler is also a major shareholder in Tesla, and even though Toyota ended its partnership with electric automaker earlier this year, the door has been left open to a future partnership.
Other industry analysts expressed skepticism at the Tesla move, noting that many companies employed technically-better battery packs. But an industry that had all but written off battery electric cars as something Americans would want to buy is forced to take a second look at the success of Tesla.
Even Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, who has gone on record time and again disparaging EVs, said that Musk “deserves more attention” than conventional automakers have been giving him. Even though Tesla will produce just 35,000 vehicles this year, the impact of Musk and Tesla has left a much larger footprint than the sales numbers would suggest.