Tesla Motors head Elon Musk told MSNBC host Chris Hayes on Tuesday that his company’s move to open its electric car patents up to the public was fueled by the hope that it would encourage more people to follow his company’s lead faster.
“A lot of people say, ‘Well, is this really an altruistic decision,’ ‘does altruism really exist?’ ‘no company would really do that,'” Musk said. “I think it’s important to bear in mind that we’re really all in the same ship, being Earth. If Tesla succeeds, but then the climate is destroyed, I’m not sure that actually helps Tesla.”
Late last week, Musk’s company announced it would open its patents up to the “open-source community” and would not pursue intellectual property lawsuits against anyone showing they were using Tesla’s designs in good faith.
Gas 2.0 reported that Tesla’s move made more than 500 patents available for public consumption, which speaks to Tesla’s head start in the electric car industry.
“I’ve somewhat been surprised at how much of a lead we have,” Musk said. “We don’t want to have the lead we have. We were kind of hoping other car companies would follow up faster.”
Watch footage from Hayes’ interview with Musk, as aired by MSNBC on Tuesday, below.