With the unveiling of the company’s first right-side drive versions of its Model S this weekend in London, Elon Musk stated that he may be willing to open up the technology to its Superchargers to others in order to standardize the method by which his vehicles are charged in around a half-an-hour.
Tesla’s Supercharger Patents giveaway: It’s not charity
It’s not just an altruistic offering but a quest for interchangeability that would benefit Tesla owners as much as others who have bought electric vehicles from Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s competitors. The network that dots the U.S. map and beyond with charging stations is revolutionizing the automotive industry while “saving the planet” already but there is always room for more charging stations as more and more people recognize the benefits of owning an all-electric vehicle.
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The need for charging stations will become considerably more important when Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and others begin building cars that don’t have the price tags that accompany, say, the Tesla Model S which effectively prices most people out of the equation. That is coming and it’s coming soon as the company will break ground on its “Gigafactories” for battery production in the near future.
That’s not to say that others will be given access to the Superchargers technology and specs without strings attached. Potential partners will have to buy into Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s “free power for life” model. That’s to say, competitors will need to build the cost of charging their cars into the price of the vehicle rather than charging customers for each charge. These same partners would also have to contribute to the maintenance costs of Supercharger stations which Musk has called “inexpensive” without providing specifics.
Generally speaking, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is not charged rent for its Supercharger stations as they provide a captive audience as people await the charging of their cars. Think….How many gas stations have you been in that don’t sell other items in the last 30 years?