Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk expressed surprise at the company’s shareholder meeting earlier this week that other auto manufacturers haven’t significantly invested in electric cars, and said he’s considering doing something “fairly controversial” with Tesla’s patents.
“I was hoping other companies would engage in more serious electric-car programs,” Musk said.
While Musk declined to elaborate, he said it would be a decision he would have to “carefully explain” in a USA Today report, indicating the founder might be mulling over releasing some of the company’s patented technology to encourage electric auto market growth.
According to Musk, beating out the competition with longer charge duration and other advances pushed Tesla to the 22,500 unit sales mark in 2013, and put it on track to sell its target goal of 35,000 in 2014. The company also completed a cross-country network of charging stations in the U.S., and is planning to double the number of high-speed superchargers between cities to alleviate “charge anxiety” and reduce charge times.
Musk said the rest of the industry has yet to take the electric market seriously, and that most manufacturers only do what is “minimally required” under non-polluting car regulations.
The entrepreneur wasn’t exclusively critical however, and said he applauded efforts like Nissan’s Leaf to build a longer-range, mass-market priced car before Tesla. The California-based electric leader’s attempt, which is expected to price around $35,000 (down from the $70,000-plus Model S), likely won’t show up until after 2015.