Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk offers the company’s EV tech to Audi, others for a price


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We recently covered Audi CEO Markus Duesmann’s statement that Audi was at least two years behind Tesla when it came to computing power in its EVs and self-driving car technology. That he admitted that publicly is a pretty big deal, but it could result in some unlikely benefits.

See, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk saw Teslarati’s coverage of Duesmann’s statement and decided to offer up assistance (sort of) to the other companies that are trying to catch up to the Big T. Specifically, on Twitter July 29 (because where else, really) he said Tesla would be willing to license its software and provide batteries and powertrains to other manufacturers.

That may sound pretty generous, but really, it would be a killer business situation for Tesla since it would let the company do more of what it’s great at — engineering — while not having to increase capacity for the actual building of cars. It would likely be a huge financial boost for the company too.

Now, this kind of thinking isn’t new for Tesla. The company has previously offered to open up its Supercharger network to other manufacturers if they decided to pay a licensing fee. Now, since nobody took Musk up on that particular offer, we can only assume that the licensing fee was, shall we say, prohibitively expensive.

While it might be tempting to imagine a world where Audi’s E-Tron had the guts of a Model X and retained all the Audi stuff that made it a pleasant place to spend time, the odds of that happening are probably not great. It doesn’t necessarily make a ton of sense for the VW Group or GM or any other company that has invested heavily in EV tech just to cast all of that aside.

It does make a lot of sense for any of the dozens of smaller EV startups, like, for example, Faraday Future or Lucid, to take the leg up from Tesla (and the recurring hit to the bottom line). In theory, this would allow such a company to come to market with a more competitive product much sooner than it would otherwise have been able.

Even considering all of that, we wouldn’t hold our breath for any of it to actually happen.

Tesla didn’t immediately respond to Roadshow’s request for comment.


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