Ford offers EV patents to rivals

By Bob Nagy on May 29, 2015 4:58 AM

In the hope of accelerating the adoption of electric power for future vehicles around the world, Ford Motor Company will offer competitors access to its EV-related patented technologies. They will be available on a licensed basis either through Ford's own technology commercialization and licensing office or via AutoHarvest, an innovation and licensing marketplace co-founded by the automaker "to enable efficient and transparent technology licensing across the automotive industry and beyond." Ford's move largely parallels a similar move last year by Tesla Motors founder, Elon Musk. Telsa, however, is offering free use of its patents in order to jumpstart the EV market.

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"Innovation is our goal," said Kevin Layden, director, Ford Electrification Programs. "The way to provide the best technology is through constant development and progress. By sharing our research with other companies, we will accelerate the growth of electrified vehicle technology and deliver even better products to customers." Ford, whose current lineup of EV/hybrid models includes the Ford Focus Electric, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Ford Fusion Energi Plug-in Hybrid, Ford C-MAX Hybrid, Ford C-MAX Energi Plug-in Hybrid and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid now holds some 650 EV-related patents and has an additional 1,000 pending. Last year alone, Ford said it filed over 400 EV-related patent applications -- more than 20 percent of the total number submitted by the company. The firm plans to hire an additional 200 electric vehicle engineers in 2015 as it prepares to move the team headquarters to a new Ford Engineering Laboratories in Dearborn, which was also home to founder Henry Ford's original company labs.

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