Electric car patent to be shared by Tesla

Electric vehicles have gained some ground on other forms of vehicles in past few years, but not at the pace that some manufacturers had hoped.

This has lead Tesla Motors Inc to share their intellectual patents with other manufacturers in the market, in order to speed up development across the sector. In the decision made public earlier this month, Tesla co-founder and chief executive officer Elon Musk said it would be fine for any company to use their technology in "good faith".

The electric vehicle industry has struggled for momentum despite fleet managers concerns around fuel consumption, but it should progress with Tesla's choice to open-source its technology.

Mr Musk explained patents aren't supposed to prevent progress and believes Tesla holds too much power over competitors in a small market.

"We felt compelled to create patents out of concern that the big car companies would copy our technology and then use their massive manufacturing, sales and marketing power to overwhelm Tesla," he said on Tesla's website.

"We couldn't have been more wrong. The unfortunate reality is the opposite: electric car programs at the major manufacturers are small to non-existent, constituting an average of far less than 1 per cent of their total vehicle sales."

Mr Musk likened the current situation to Tesla using patents as landmines to prevent other competitors from ever gaining ground for consumers. The goal for Tesla is to extend the electric car market, but this isn't possible when the large manufacturers are so far behind.

The patent release includes all of Tesla's current patents and any patents the company creates in the future. Mr Musk believes it is impossible for Tesla to build electric vehicles fast enough to address the carbon crisis so other manufacturers will be able to take some of the demand.

"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," he concluded.