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Jordan Perch loves automotive innovation and that is his ultimate passion. He is managing the resourceful DMV.com and is an active contributor to numerous consumer and automotive blogs.

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Ford to Share EV Patents With Competitors

Posted July 06, 2015 11:36 AM by Jordan Perch
Pathfinder Tags: electric vehicles EVs Ford tesla

Although Tesla Motors has only been around for a few years, it has done an amazing job of pushing the EV movement forward, introducing innovative battery and charging technologies that promise to bring down the cost of electric vehicles, and opening up its patents to its rival automakers in a bid to further advance the development of EV technologies. The fact that Tesla has made EV patents available to competitors seems to have made quite an impact on some of them, prompting them to share their own technologies with the rest of the auto industry, which will surely help boost EV innovation.


Ford is the latest car maker that has decided to follow Tesla's lead and open up its electric vehicle patents, in a move that reaffirms the company's focus on sustainable mobility technologies, a strategy that is centered around development of eco-friendly technologies.


"Innovation is our goal," says Kevin Layden, director of 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."


In a press release, Ford said that it filed for over 400 electric vehicles patents in 2014, and that it has more than 650 electrified vehicle patents in total, along with about 1,000 pending patent applications. Some of the more intriguing patents made available by Ford, that most automakers will most likely be interested in, include Driver Behavior Feedback Interface, Method and Apparatus for Battery Charge Balancing, and Temperature Dependent Regenerative Brake System for Electric Vehicles.


The Driver behavior interface is a system that monitors specific vehicle parameters, along with braking, accelerating and other driver inputs, in order to determine how a person's driving habits affect the car's performances and fuel consumption.


The battery charge balancing patent involves an innovation that aims to extend battery life, which could help put an end to the range anxiety issue, that has been holding back electric car sales growth for years.


The technology behind the Temperature Dependent Regenerative Brake System for Electric Vehicle is meant to help increase the amount of energy that is captured by a hybrid vehicle's regenerative braking system, extending the vehicle's range.


However, it should be noted that Ford's patents will not be available free of charge. The company said that everyone who wants to access them will have to pay a fee and license them through its own technology commercialization and licensing office or the automotive collaborative innovation and licensing marketplace, AutoHarvest. According to some Ford officials, some patents will only cost a couple of hundreds of dollars, and others well over a thousand.


At the moment, there are six electrified Ford models on sale: the Fusion Hybrid, the Ford C-MAX Hybrid, the Linkoln MKZ Hybrid, the C-MAX Energi, the Fusion Energi and the Focus Electric. As it attempts to further improve its electric vehicle technologies, Ford announced that it intends to hire an additional 200 electrified vehicle engineers by the end of this year.

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