Ford Betting Big On Electrified Vehicles; Releases Patents & Hires 200 New Engineers
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) made two important announcements on Thursday.
First, it is granting other automakers access to its portfolio of patents linked to electrified vehicles -- both hybrids and electric cars. Second, the company said it will hire 200 engineers over the year to work on next generation electrified vehicles patents in its recently built Dearborn, Michigan, lab.
Release The Patents
Executive Chairman William Clay Ford, Jr. commented on the issue, stating that releasing the company’s patents is a move aimed at accelerating “industry-wide research and development of electrified vehicles,” the Detroit Free Press reported.
Kevin Layden, Director of Ford Electrification Programs added that, by sharing its patents, Ford “will accelerate the growth of electrified vehicle technology and deliver even better products to customers (…) As an industry, we need to collaborate while we continue to challenge each other,” he concluded.
However, it should be noted that, unlike Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA), which has been offering access to its patents for free for almost a year now, Ford will charge a fee (not disclosed) to those companies interested in accessing the patents.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Ford owns more than 25,000 patents in the U.S. only. Among them, more than 650 correspond to electrified vehicle technologies. Last year, it filed over 2,000 new applications, of which more than 400 were linked to electric vehicle technologies. In addition, there are roughly 1,000 more electrification-related patents pending approval.
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