Ford Opens Its Electric Car Patents To Peers – For A Price

MAY 29 2015 BY JAY COLE 31

Here Are Some EVs We Found From Ford At Auto China Last Year - Wonder How Much For These Patents?

We Wonder If Any Of The 2,000 Odd Patents Recently Made Available For Purchase From Ford Pertain To This Fleet Of Electrified Mustangs We Spotted In Beijing Last Year For Auto China

Ford Offer Battery Cell Balancing Technology Used In The Ford Focus

Ford Offer Battery Cell Balancing Technology Used In The Ford Focus

Ever since Tesla announced that it was opening up all its patents for other automakers to use as “open source”, the trend as been for other OEMs to follow suit .

Most recently from CES 2015, Toyota offered its 5,000+ fuel cell patents to anyone willing to follow them down the alternate propulsion route.

On Thursday, Ford got into the game…kinda.

Ford says that it “is offering competitors access to its electrified vehicle technology patents – a move to help accelerate industry-wide research and development of electrified vehicles.”

And while there wasn’t a (*) asterisk at the end of that statement, there probably should be, as later in the press release we find this note, “…patents (are) available for competitors to purchase.” 

So, not really offering them up fully in the spirit of the common good and advancement of the electrification of the automobile; more like in the spirit of trying to make a little extra money.  Still, for an OEM looking to enter the field of extended range vehicles, there may be an opportunity to build on Ford’s current technology.

“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 and deliver even better products to customers.” – Kevin Layden, director, Ford Electrification Programs.

Tesla Patent Wall Before Offering Them Up For Free - Now Removed

Tesla Patent Wall Before Offering Them Up For Free – Now Removed

In total, Ford has made some 2,000 patents in 2014, although only 400-odd of them were electrified vehicle technology..

“As an industry, we need to collaborate while we continue to challenge each other,” said Layden. “By sharing ideas, companies can solve bigger challenges and help improve the industry.”

Ford did not disclosure pricing on all (or any) of the patents, but a representative says that they range from hundreds of dollars to some in the thousands.

Ford notes three of the patents current available to purchase:

Tesla "Vehicle Door" Patent - Not Likely To Be Used By Another OEM

Tesla “Vehicle Door” Patent – Not Likely To Be Used By Another OEM

  • Method and Apparatus for Battery Charge Balancing, patent No. US5764027: The patent covers passive cell balancing: discharging a cell through a resistor to lower the state of charge to match other cells. This innovation extends battery run time and overall life. This is the first invention to enable battery balancing at any time, instead of only while charging, and it enables the use of lithium-ion batteries in electrified vehicles. It was invented long before lithium-ion battery-powered vehicles became commonplace – truly ahead of its time.
  • Temperature Dependent Regenerative Brake System for Electric Vehicle, patent No. US6275763: The technology works to maximize the amount of energy recaptured in a hybrid vehicle through regenerative braking. By improving the interplay between normal friction brakes and regenerative braking during stopping at certain air temperatures, a driver is able to recapture more energy than previously possible, helping the motorist drive farther on a charge.
  • Driving Behavior Feedback Interface, patent No. US8880290: The patent provides a system and method for monitoring driver inputs such as braking and accelerating, and vehicle parameters including energy consumption to assess driving behavior. The feedback can be used to coach future driving behavior that may translate into better long-term driving habits and improve fuel economy. This technology also has enabled drivers of non-electrified vehicles, such as a Ford Focus, to develop better driving habits.

Read Ford’s full press release here.

Categories: Ford


Leave a Reply

31 Comments on "Ford Opens Its Electric Car Patents To Peers – For A Price"

newest oldest most voted

I’m guessing no one will want the patent that causes you to rate your cars at higher MPGs then actual.

So if you want to cut your trunk space in half because of stupid battery placement they will make you bleed financially.

I’m sure Tesla will be very interested in their patents.

I don’t know of any other method used for cell balancing – as far as I knew, everybody uses individual resistors on each cell in series in order to bleed of voltage. Does that mean everybody already licenses that patent from Ford, or have people found their own workarounds?

There needs to be a bit of clarification here:

1. Ford has over 650 electrified vehicle patents now and over 1,000 pending.

2. Ford is offering the majority of the 650 for FREE to the competition.

3. Several like the three mentioned in the press release will be available for a price.

The difference between Ford and Tesla is that Tesla offers EV ONLY tech, while Ford is offering necessary foundational hybrid, plugin hybrid and EV tech that ICE manufacturers need now.

This also indicates that Ford is about ready to launch their third generation hybrid, plug-in hybrid and EV tech, along with their new dedicated hybrid vehicle.

YES!!Because They R “USELESS” Patents

TOYOTA is the Best! Free Patend On the “FOOL CELL” The Bomb On Wheels….A waste of time & resources……….KA-BOOM!

Ahh, the juvenile posts continue.^^^^^^^^^


+1 geez

So people can license the ability to make PHEVs with too little battery and diminished storage space.

People can license the ability to make kludge conversions that turn off while driving.

This is similar to how anyone can “use the patents” for the Tesla connector… but if you, as an EV driver, want to pay Tesla directly for Supercharger access, well, you’d better convince your automaker to start jointly funding the Supercharger network.

You know, like how GM and Nissan and BMW (and Tesla) give money to ChargePoint to fund their network… wait, what?

US5764027 expires on June 21, 2015 and US6275763 only has about 4+ years left. How incredibly generous of them!!!

Jokes aside, I will take my Ford Focus Electric over any of your dog ugly Leafs or any of the other competitors in the segment. What it lacks in a little storage space (I have plenty of room for a full set of drums with the seats down) and range, it more than makes up for in luxury ammenities and kick ass performance.

I love my Focus. Hide the battery and 20% more range and I would never want another car for the rest of my life. Unless I win the lottery and I will buy the P85D. I have driven one of those and they are great. Buy the way you can buy a new Focus for $16K in CA.


From a flat out exterior styling perspective the only one that can touch it in that segment is the VW Golf E which is quite a bit more price wise (especially with all of the Ford incentives). That iteration of the Focus is a well sorted out, relevant, international, handsome, sporty and not “look at me I am electric” example of the current generation of BEVs.

‘a well sorted out, relevant, international, handsome, sporty and not “look at me I am electric” example ‘ Oh wait wait wait, we are still talking about the Focus Electric, right? For a moment there, I thought you were talking about another car. Because, since its debut 4 years or so ago, the improvements on the Focus EV are…um…ah…right, better sound proofing, steering feedbacks…wait, these can actually applied to the entire Focus line, so…um..ah…YES, EXTERIOR STYLING, although the grill still allow ones to tell that it’s the electric… And in the next year model, and the future generation, um..ah…I think… And sales – after the $6k price cut many months ago – will hit beyond…um…ah…well…150 units per month. And sporty/performance – yes, it can now reach 60mph in under 11 sec, with ability to quick charge…oh wait, it can’t, but it has a range of 76 miles in 2015, topping out almost everyone else…oh wait, that was 2012. Yes, definitely a well sort out, relevant, sporty, and not “look at me I am electric” styling. The truth is, it’s a nice vehicle, but Ford doesn’t want to sell it, and doesn’t want people to buy it. If Fiat Chrysler CEO… Read more »

People keep mentioning what a nice EV the Focus is, and you just keep mentioning (quite bitterly and sarcastically, it seems) that it hasn’t been “improved”.

But, these are the two different discussions. If the current vehicle is nice and fits people’s needs versus other EVs, that’s one discussion.

It is a different discussion to talk about what the future Focus EV is (or isn’t). And, it is also not relevant to folks who find the current Focus to be a nice EV.

If it had DC Fast Charging it would likely be in my driveway instead of my LEAF.

“dog ugly Leafs or any of the other competitors”

Same can be said on Miss Piggy, I mean, Focus Electric. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, just remember that.

“lacks in a little storage space…and range”

So it lacks the 2 BIGGEST things that almost all EV buyers will want. Right, dude…

“more than makes up for in luxury ammenities and kick ass performance.”

So, I guess that most, if not all other EVs, have luxury amenities like leather seats, automatic climate control, infotainment systems, PLUS (Focus Electric doesn’t have these) monitors all around, quick charging, B-mode regenerative braking, etc.

And you sure did beat other vehicles with that 10 sec 0-60 time.

Good stuff!
0-60 – whatever – 20 -70 no other car in its class can touch it
range – no battery degredation like the Leaf – the leaf will have the same range after 2 years
Abandoned? Hmm didn’t get that impression when I did a commericial for Ford last week about driving EV in the NW by Time media and to be aired on their youtube channel and web site
Range has never been an issue for me – 20 miles to work and free charging there.

Right, whatever…

It’s true that some LEAFs do have battery degradation, especially under hot weather, but there are also many LEAFs that do NOT, especially in the warm and the colder region. More importantly, Nissan’s been twisting the battery formula for a while, and, in fact, the complaints logged on battery degradation are mostly on the early ’11 and ’12 model. If you have looked beyond the fancy wall of your own Focus Electric dream, you will see the latest from MY13 and MY14 LEAFs owners, which contradict your claim.

Nevertheless, your response show NOTHING in illustrating the lack of improvement on the Focus Electric from Ford, and the fact that it has the lowest range of all the EVs at the moment, and the fact that its sales has failed to take off despite a huge drop in prices, and the fact its really a special order vehicle rather than having dealers stocking them.

Finally, before I am about to wake you up, have you read the news about how Ford thinks of its pure electric vehicles?

Wake up, dude.

OK “Dude” – nice having a civil conversation with you!

It is interesting how heated these conversations can be – I am quite awake by the way. I have advanced degrees in a technological field and consider myself pretty aware of the current EV landscape. I have driven Nissan Leafs several times. When they first came out I was lined up to buy one. I simply prefer the Focus – thats it. I suggest all of you that might evaluate the car simply from some kind of spread sheet look at some information from real users that have lived with that specific car for a numer of years and thousands of miles here:

Cars are more that spread sheets of statistics. Those of us that own EVs are aware of whats out there and the pluses and minuses of each vehicle. Driving a vehicle is different than reading a review. Some guys like Minis we all seem to like Teslas but most of us can’t afford them. Name calling and denegrating any specific car is counter productive – “To each his own”


And I own a Focus but you are right on with what you are saying 😛

The FFE is a nice car. But it certainly had some issues initially and was pretty expensive initially. However, they have solved the bugs and they’ve cut the price so it is better now.

However, that is all they’ve done. It seems they’ve abandoned the car. No significant improvements over the years. No DC-fast charger added. No battery improvement (well . . . that would be hard). So it is hard to be enthusiastic about the car.

More accurately, Magna has not moved it forward. There is not much “Ford” in the FFE drive train.

Are they updating the style as well? It’s a good deal used, needs QC.