Tesla isn’t the only company that can play the patent-opening game. Ford has announced that it will make its portfolio of over 650 electrification-related patents available to competing automakers.
Unlike Tesla, which has implied that it will allow others to use technology “in good faith” free of charge (and Toyota, which plans to make some 5,680 patents on fuel cell technologies available royalty-free), Ford seems to be interested in collecting licensing fees, which will be arranged through the company’s licensing office.
“By sharing our research with other companies, we will accelerate the growth of electrified vehicle technology and deliver even better products to customers,” said Kevin Layden, Ford’s Director of Electrification Programs. “As an industry, we need to collaborate while we continue to challenge each other.”
Meanwhile, Ford said it plans to hire 200 additional engineers to work on electrified vehicles at a new facility. As John Voelcker of Green Car Reports pointed out, Ford is one of the least transparent of automakers when it comes to its electrification plans, so it’s difficult to say what the company is up to.
However, with GM and Nissan expected to launch 200-mile EVs in a couple of years, and Tesla’s Model 3 plodding through the pipeline, it would be strange if Ford weren’t working on its own next-generation of plug-ins.
Source: Ford via Green Car Reports