Ford to make EV technology patents available to rivals
THE MOTOR CITY -- Ford Motor Co. is subsequent Tesla Motors in checking hundreds of patents on electric car technologies to competition in a move aimed at accelerating development of electrified vehicles.
Ford's strategy differs from Tesla's, however, because Ford is licensing its patents to get a payment, where-as Tesla last yr produced its patents open to anybody for free.
"Creation is our target," Kevin Layden, manager of Ford electrification plans, mentioned today in a statement. "The means to give you the most effective technology is through continuous development and improvement. By sharing our study with others, we are going to hasten the development of electrified vehicle technologies and provide even better services and products to clients."
Ford stated it h-AS over 650 650 patents and about 1,000 pending patent applications related to hybrid and plug in automobiles. The auto-maker said it submitted over 400 400 patents for anyone technologies last yr alone, accounting for more than one-fifth of its 2014 filings, and intends to hire 200 more electrified-automobile engineers in 2013 to help expand its research because area.
One of the patents Ford is producing accessible are types covering a way of extending battery-run time and total life, a technologies to make the most of quantity of electricity recaptured through regenerative braking, as well as a system which tracks a person's driving and gives suggestions on the best way to enhance fuel economy.
Ford stated its patents may be acquired through its engineering commercialization and licensing workplace or through the AutoHarvest Foundation, a not-for-profit that Ford helped discovered in 2012. Ford has formerly made some patents, such as one for inflatable seatbelts, available for licensing through AutoHarvest, as have other auto makers and suppliers.
A Ford spokesman said pricing for the patents changes, with "some in the 100s and some in the thousands." More special dollar amounts are not immediately accessible.
The news comes almost a year after Tesla CEO Elon Musk amazed the business by re-leasing its patents to the public domain free of charge. In do-ing therefore, Tesla quit considerable potential licensing sales in the hopes of encouraging broader acceptance of electrical vehicles and therefore becoming a more more productive business ultimately. In addition, it supports other businesses to embrace criteria that Tesla created, which may help place itself as the the first choice in such technologies and gain its clients.
"Our authentic opposition isn't the little drip of non-Tesla electric vehicles being made, but instead the tremendous avalanche of petrol automobiles pouring from the world's manufacturing plants daily," Musk wrote in a post announcing the transfer.
"Technology leadership isn't defined by patents, which history has frequently demonstrated to be little protection really against a determined adversary, but instead by the power of an organization to attract and inspire the world's most gifted engineers. We consider that using the open-source philosophy to our patents will reinforce rather than diminish Tesla's place in this respect."
Musk was afterwards asked if there is a licensing procedure needed to gain access to the patents. "No. You only use them," he stated. "Which I believe is better because then we-don't need to get in to any sort of discourses or whatever."
Despite tremendous hoopla while automobiles like the Chevrolet Volt plug in hybrid vehicle and all-electrical Nissan Leaf were underdevelopment, electrified automobiles never have proven well-known among U.S. customers. Alternative-energy automobiles represent only 1.6% of total sector revenues in 2015 through April, according to the Automotive News Data-Center. The Toyota Prius is the reason nearly two thirds of the the amount in that section.
Yet auto makers continue to rollout more nameplates as they perform to fulfill growing fuel economy requirements.
"If you examine the increase in nameplates and versions, it's been unbelievable and yet the portion of the business has really decreased year-over-yr," Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of the Americas, stated in an April 30 interview. "So that is one pressure-point. You simply have a lot of versions with no increase."
Ford now offers six hybrid or fully electric automobiles. Its Cmax, the single Ford vehicle offered solely as a hybrid vehicle, has been among the firm's slowest vendors.
The price of electric automobiles is a major reason they have not caught on, as the technologies stays comparatively expensive to make on a small-scale. Lower gas costs have created them even less useful from a financial framework.
"As a business, we require to collaborate while we continue to challenge each other," Ford's Layden stated. "By discussing thoughts, businesses can solve larger challenges and help increase the business."
It's possible for you to reach Nick Bunkley at [email protected] -- Follow Nick on
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