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Elon Musk started to make his fortune in the late 90′s after selling a software company he co-developed to Compaq. He also founded X.com, which merged with a Paypal-owned company and ended up selling for $1.5 billion in 2002. That same year, Musk co-founded a company called SpaceX, a company that manufactures innovative space launch vehicles with the intent of drastically lessening the costs of space exploration. Fast forward to today and Musk is at the forefront of a major automobile revolution with his company Tesla Motors, a manufacturer of advanced electric cars.

Electric cars aren’t a new concept by any means, in fact, the first electric car was produced in the 1880′s, before gas-powered vehicles came into popularity. Once the internal combustion engine exploded worldwide, electric cars were silenced commercially until their renaissance in 2008, with the advancement of battery and power management technologies.

What makes Tesla cars unique has to do with their ‘Super’ charging stations. Tesla drivers pay more up front in order to have access to Supercharger stations free of charge.

Recently, Musk dropped a major bombshell on the Tesla website, revealing that not only are the patents to the Supercharger stations now open, but that all patents obtained by Tesla are now free, all 200 of them.

“When I started out with my first company, Zip2, I thought patents were a good thing and worked hard to obtain them,” Musk wrote. “And maybe they were good long ago, but too often these days they serve merely to stifle progress, entrench the positions of giant corporations and enrich those in the legal profession, rather than the actual inventors.”

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