Whether area drivers have been quick to notice it or not, hybrid and electric vehicles are truly upon us. The 2016 Chevy Volt, 2016 Chevy Malibu and 2016 Ford Fusion are all offering hybrid-electric capabilities, and the simple fact is that drivers are realistically looking for ways to save money on fuel. Additionally, since the federal government is offering up to $7,500 in tax credits to those who buy a new EV or hybrid vehicle, the impetus is now there for buyers who wouldn’t normally consider one to go ahead and take the plunge.
Now, we’ve received news that Ford will issue its electric and hybrid patents to its competitors if they’d like to use them. Wait, what??? This is truly remarkable, but we’d like to make a few guesses as to why Ford is taking this unprecedented step.
Guess #1: They know that their technology might be the best there is right now. All in all, Ford is freeing up 650 EV patents and 1,000 patent-pending technologies, in addition to the 400 or so that were already available as of last year. That is a lot of patents.
Guess #2: They already have a crop of great hybrid powertrains–may as well make it known that they feel that way. Look, there are Ford-made hybrid or EV powertrains in the Fusion, C-Max, Focus and Lincoln MKZ, with others rumored to join them. What could be hurt by putting the money where their mouth is?
Guess #3: It’s going to be a boon for the infrastructure. Of all the guesses, this is the most likely to be true. A nonprofit called AutoHarvest Foundation will hold the patents, meaning that the patents purchased will be used to go back into the planned or existing EV infrastructure. This means that the goal of connecting the entire US through multiple EV charging stations will become closer to being a reality.
Whether the plan pays off, it remains to be seen. However, we do know this to be true: the Ford lineup of EV and hybrid-powered vehicles is stronger than ever, and that they can be found today at Harbin Automotive!