In a press release, Ford Motor Co. said it has opened portfolio of its technology patents for Electrified Vehicles (EV). This move is made to accelerate the development of the EV industry, Ford said in a statement. The patents are open at a cost though, which varies from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on the patent itself. Ford possess over 650 EV patents, with about 1000 more patent applications pending on the EV technologies.
“The way to provide the best technology is through constant development and progress,” said Kevin Layden, Director, Ford Electrification Programs. He continued, “By sharing our research with other companies, we will accelerate the growth of electrified vehicle technology and deliver even better products to customers.”
Elon Musk, CEO, Tesla has made a similar statement last year while opening up Tesla’s Patents of their EVs. He announced, “Tesla Motors was created to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport,” he added, “If we clear a path to the creation of compelling electric vehicles, but then lay intellectual property landmines behind us to inhibit others, we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal.” The fact that Tesla’s patents are free and unrestricted sets it apart from Ford.
Ford currently has six vehicles in its EV portfolio, including hybrids like, Fusion Hybrid, Energi PHEV, Ford C-MAX Hybrid, Energi plug-in hybrid, the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid; and the complete EV, the Focus Electric. Ford has reportedly sold over 40,000 Energi plug-in hybrid variants since its launch.
Rumors also suggest that Ford has something up its sleeve to enter the field of longer-range EVs, expectedly competing with Tesla Model S. The company is also setting up a new dedicated facility for electric and hybrid vehicles, and also reported of hiring about 200 engineers for development of the EV industry.
With efficiency becoming a major concern for automakers worldwide, the idea of EVs is growing popular with passing time. The current EV industry is not much of hype among the people as some reports suggest that EVs made about 1.6% of all U.S. car sales from January to April 2015, suggesting the popularity of the conventional vehicles running on gas. Fiat Chrysler has even shown their dislike for EVs, stating they have no hopes of selling a single 500e electric car, meeting requirements of California’s zero-emission vehicle sales rules.
With big commitments from automobile industry giants like Ford, BMW, Tesla and others, we can hope to see better and impressive Electrified Vehicles in the near future.