The automotive industry is a significant force in driving global innovation and technological leadership. Specifically, Tesla Motors is recognised as a world leader in innovation, pushing the boundaries of automotive revolution again and again – firstly proving that electric cars could be better than gasoline-powered cars and now introducing cleaner mobility to a growing consumer market. In anticipation of acquiring SolarCity and with the grand opening of their Gigafactory in July 2016, is Tesla gearing up to become a renewable energy enterprise? Can it lead the adoption of clean transportation across the world?

Elon Musk: driving automotive change with an open-source patent pool

Tesla is not the only company producing electric vehicles. However, Tesla is the only company with Elon Musk at its helm. Elon Musk, CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors, is a serial inventor and billionaire entrepreneur with a vision to “change the world and humanity”. Musk is passionate about reducing global warming through sustainable energy production and consumption, using Tesla’s electric vehicles to spearhead a greener future with clean transportation.

Tesla vehicles may look like any other car - with doors and wheels and windows - but each model has a set of distinct and unique features that promote sustainable transportation.

Musk is keen to share technology that Tesla has spent years developing to accelerate the adoption of cleaner transportation. Two years ago Musk announced that Tesla would “not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.” Tesla created a limited, open-source patent pool for the technologies used to build its electric vehicles — including for vehicle components, battery charging, energy storage and power optimisation. Why give its patents away? To build the size of the market and encourage others to abandon internal combustion engines and consider “going electric”. As more people buy electric cars, the grid gets bigger and Tesla dominates a larger area of the automotive market.

A focus on energy innovation

Elon Musk is leading a change in direction for the automotive industry and has asserted green transportation as a key component of future vehicle design and city planning.

2008’s Climate Change Act meant the UK (as one example) is now legally obliged to cut emissions by 80% before the year 2050, targeting “net zero emissions” by the end of the 21st century. Electric vehicles enable a 40% reduction in CO₂emissions, so their adoption could fast-track a cleaner, more sustainable future.

Tesla now builds charging stations in cities around the world to facilitate a growing network of electric vehicles, and to transform a city’s approach to mobility, but it will take significant time to populate every city. If governments built more charging points, cities could establish a sustainable ecosystem far quicker. This is what Elon Musk is attempting to do.

Tesla’s impressive market presence, increasing popularity and commitment to share its innovation and technology with competition and start-ups, uniquely positions it to lead clean transportation in cities around the world.