Henry Foy:

Electric carmaker Tesla Motors has taken the unprecedented step of opening its technology secrets to its rivals as chief executive Elon Musk attempts to boost interest in the low-emission vehicles.
 Tesla, which has defied larger carmakers by making money out of its luxury electric vehicles, will allow competitors to use its patents in a gamble that it hopes will bring down industry costs and open new business opportunities.
 “We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly evolving technology platform,” Mr Musk said. “Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.”
 The decision is characteristic of billionaire entrepreneur Mr Musk, who has a record of outlandish ideas and has stirred up the space industry with promises of reusable rockets and plans to colonise Mars.
 Mr Musk has long stressed that his primary goal of widespread electric-car usage is more important to him than Tesla’s ultimate success. In offering its patents to rivals, he also hopes to create a larger market for electric cars, which would bring down the cost of the company’s charging infrastructure.
 Tesla, which sold 22,500 cars last year, has seen its market capitalisation more than double over the past 12 months to $25bn, as investors bought into bullish growth predictions and high profit margins as volumes rise.