Elon Musk says the following on their company blog:
"At Tesla, however, we felt compelled to create patents out of concern that the big car companies would copy our technology and then use their massive manufacturing, sales and marketing power to overwhelm Tesla. We couldn’t have been more wrong. The unfortunate reality is the opposite: electric car programs (or programs for any vehicle that doesn’t burn hydrocarbons) at the major manufacturers are small to non-existent, constituting an average of far less than 1% of their total vehicle sales."
According to Wired Tesla Motor's spokesman Simon Sproule says:
"The mission of the company is to accelerate the widespread adoption of electric cars. If Tesla acts as the catalyst for other manufacturers … that will have been achieved."
Tesla Motor's not only build electric cars, but also have developed battery technology and electrical charging stations. A couple of months ago they built their 100th station.
I think this is pretty darn exciting. It's also probably a good strategy for a company such as Tesla to try and bring over more car owners to the electric market. But I believe it really is good for everyone. It is also inspiring with companies that has such progressive take on patents.