ford focus electric

Ford has announced that it is offering competitors access to its electric vehicle technology patents in a move it says is aimed at accelerating development of electrified vehicles. The automaker believes sharing its patented technologies will promote faster development of future inventions.

“Innovation is our goal. 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. As an industry, we need to collaborate while we continue to challenge each other,” Ford Electrification Programs director Kevin Layden said in a statement.

Ford has more than 650 patents and around 1,000 pending patent applications on EV and hybrid technologies – last year, it filed for 400-plus electrified vehicle patents, which was more than 20% of the total patents the company applied for in 2014.

ford c-max hybrid

Among the plethora of patents are those covering passive cell balancing (to extend battery run time and overall life) and temperature dependent regenerative braking, and there’s also a driving behaviour feedback interface in the huge mix.

The move by Ford mirrors that taken by Tesla Motors last June, when it opened up its electric vehicle patents to be used by anyone, including other car manufacturers. Unlike Tesla, which is offering access to its patents for free, Ford’s patents will be available for a fee.

Ford currently has six hybrid or fully electric vehicles in its model line-up – the Focus Electric, Fusion Hybrid, Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid, C-MAX Hybrid, C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid.