You may recall that last June, Tesla Motors decided to share a vast portfolio of its own patents with the world, all pertaining to the Palo Alto automaker’s electric powertrain technologies. The move was intended “to advance the development of electric vehicle technology.”
Nearly a year later, it doesn’t seem as though any individuals or enterprises have taken Tesla Motors up on the offer yet, but things might change now that Ford Motor Company is jumping on the bandwagon. A release from the automaker announces that Ford will be similarly opening its entire portfolio of electrified vehicle patents to the world, “to help accelerate industry-wide research and development.”
Ford Motor Company filed for more than 400 electrified vehicle patents last year alone. The automaker has an additional 250 or so related patents from prior, and more than 1,000 pending related applications.
The electric vehicle technology breakthroughs of Ford Motor Company will, of course, be available free-of-charge. The carmaker is also looking to hire on 200 additional electrified vehicle engineers this year as the EV team moves into a new facility: Ford Engineering Laboratories, home to Henry Ford’s original labs.
The release from Ford Motor Company gets around to mentioning just a few of the patented technologies that competitors will soon be able to get their hands on. These include:
- A system which can passively balance the state-of-charge of all cells across a rechargeable pack, extending run-time and longevity. Prior to this method, cell balancing was only possible during charging.
- Temperature-dependent regenerative braking, which takes ambient air temperature into account while controlling the balance between friction and regenerative brake systems. This allows for more braking energy to be recaptured during deceleration.
Said Ford Motor Company Electrification Director Kevin Layden: “The way to provide the best technology is through constant development and progress… As an industry, we need to collaborate while we continue to challenge each other. By sharing ideas, companies can solve bigger challenges and help improve the industry.”