“All our patents belong to you” . When Elon Musk, serial entrepreneur, innovator and clean energy champion wrote down these words in his blog, companies around the world were shocked.We have seen enough of fights between global giants in the name of intellectual property rights, copy rights etc. Thanks a ton Elon for reminding the world about a fact which we all chose to ignore for quite sometime that ‘ innovation is for the betterment of humanity, it is to be shared’. It is true that a new technology comes with a cost and patents do help companies and entrepreneurs to compensate for these costs. My intention is not to come up with a point that every company should follow the same suite or intellectual property rights are bad. Just thought of celebrating this spirit of innovation and appreciate the move that was made with a larger goal of promoting competition and efficiency in clean transportation systems.
The Data available from Environmental protection agency, U.S suggests that 27 % of GHG emissions in U.S are attributed to the transportation sector whereas within the sector close to 59% comes from the segment of light vehicles. This broad scenario gives us an idea about the importance of the space in which Tesla is trying to operate Meanwhile the idea of sustainable transportation has not received much attention as more and more people have started buying individual vehicles. The case is not so different in India also. At this juncture the revolutionary step taken by Tesla is expected to bring in a huge change in the sector by making electric vehicles competent and affordable for the masses.
Elon Musk, who serves as an inspiration for a lot of people like us in the clean energy space has successfully created (Co founded some of them) Zip 2,Pay Pal,Space X. The collaboration with solar city in which he is a board member is also an example for his commitment in creating systems to combat climate change. Meanwhile the mega factory for the production of batteries is supposed to bring about a revolution in the energy storage systems which is regarded as the biggest problem faced by the intermittent nature of renewable energy systems. In a way the entire ecosystem is closely observed as opening up of a new paradigm in the clean energy and transport system.
Wait,Did anyone of u think that i am doing a promo for Tesla or writing a biography of Musk? Not exactly, i believe that there are lot of things which we can learn from the model of Tesla. We do have innovations, but why doesn’t that work? The answer is that many of our innovations are just makeshift arrangements. We need to go beyond that. We have adopted the Jugaad model into anything and everything that deals with innovation. Something like making lassi in washing machines to achieve efficiency and economies of scale sounds good. But that kind of approach shouldn’t be copied in to many of our critical technologies like energy access, infrastructure etc. For us low cost shouldn’t mean that we are using outdated technologies.
The government should create a suitable ecosystem for entrepreneurs so that they can actively engage with new technologies and innovations. Especially in the case of clean energy, money should be spent on R & D and manufacturing sectors as it was envisaged while formulating National Clean Energy Fund. On the other hand the indigenous knowledge systems should be preserved and grass root innovators should be encouraged with proper support and scale up systems. Last but not the least, a knowledge sharing mechanism and access to these systems needs to be in place at the central level so that there is faster dissemination and action on the ground. The example of Tesla reminds us the need for constant innovations and the willingness to share these knowledge for the betterment of the entire humanity. We hope this will have long lasting implications for the advancement of clean transport systems for our country as the latest news is that Mahindra and Mahindra is trying to review Tesla patents for applicability to its electric vehicles.