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Overview of Tesla Motors Open Innovation Framework

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In 2015, Tesla was named to the top of The World’s Most Innovative Companies list, produced by Forbes magazine. The company have “innovated innovation”. Using the open innovation framework this is how Tesla implements open innovation to action:


Tesla Motors uses three pathways in order to improve availability of EVs to consumers: First, EVs are traded in both online channels and own companies’ showrooms. Second, Tesla made their patented electric powertrain components sold to auto manufacturers for faster delivery to consumers. Last, Tesla motors becomes a model of change for socially responsible vehicle having a sportive performance.

Corporate Ventures & Partnerships

Tesla Motors acts as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) but at the same time having the production of electric powertrain components available for buying and trading by other companies. “The outside-in process aims to increase the knowledge of a company bringing together customers, suppliers and knowledge coming from external sources. On the other hand, the inside-out process aims to make the firm more profitable by coming up with innovative ideas, commercializing intellectual property (IP) rights and extending technology by interacting with the outside environment. ” Tesla has brought innovation outside in and knowledge transfer.

Designs: Tesla have partnered with Lotus, that started by setting up a design competition. Tesla opened up to the outside knowledge rather than starting from scratch with their project.

Battery pack: Tesla have partnered with Panasonic (a cell manufacturer) as one of its main cores of innovation. Not only that, this has led to an R&D collaboration for the next gen battery cells to be used to create a most efficient EVs, the Tesla Model S.

Electric drive & battery systems: plus the “KNOW-HOW” Benefits – alliance with Daimler in which this company have invested $50 million to further its flourishing developments. The partnership expanded with Daimler’s affiliate, Freightliner, for developing Tesla Motor’s battery back to Freightliner’s delivery vans.

Production systems and engineering support: backed up with the partnership with Toyota in the production of Tesla Model S. That model is also an electric version of Toyota’s RaV4.

With the stated facts above, you will see how Tesla has opened their ideas to the world, through partnerships, alliances, joint venture and a lot more. Together, it is mutual-beneficial for all. Open innovation has made the Tesla Motors EVs into reality by not keeping the ideas in their company alone, it is a collective effort and brilliance of all companies involved, from the smallest supplier to its most important ones.

Tesla Motors generated ideas and brought them to the market – same way harnessing external ideas and did joint R&D with experts in the field.

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