Ford Has Developed Almost 500 Hybrid Patents

In the process of developing its new Fusion Hybrid and other plug-in vehicles, Ford said it recorded 461 hybrid patents including those for the powertrain enabling the Fusion to achieve 47 mpg.

Among its most talented inventors, Ford made special mention of Ming Kuang, who has helped Ford since 2000 to expand its portfolio of hybrid patents from just 10 patents when he began to 461 today.

“The work on the Fusion Hybrid is all about a commitment I made a long time ago to have a positive effect on our environment,” said Kuang. “It’s about helping make the world my children live in – and the world my children’s children will live in – a better place.”

Kuang was behind nearly 10 percent of the 461 hybrid patents, Ford said, and 25 of his 40 hybrid patents have gone from mere draft form to actual production of key components of Ford’s powersplit architecture system. This system is used on the Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid that Ford said should exceed 100 MPGe

The company’s prolific run of patents represents a 50-fold increase, Ford said, and signals a solid commitment to growing its intellectual property despite the economic downturn.

“Ford continued to invest to develop new products like our new Fusion hybrids during the depths of the economic downturn,” said Chuck Gray, Ford chief engineer of Global Core Engineering Hybrid and Electric Vehicles. “We succeeded in transforming our lineup with leading fuel efficiency, thanks in part to the many Ford inventors who are helping make our Fusion Hybrid America’s most fuel-efficient sedan.”


  • Dan Tole

    Ford’s commitment to hybrid technology is commendable. Ford has been able to come back in recent years with some quality vehicles that can compete with popular foreign models.

  • alex777

    “Ford said it recorded 461 hybrid patents” after bying of 1000 patents (Prius 30) from Toyota! :)))
    Were is it “our Fusion Hybrid America’s most fuel-efficient sedan”? What is it 47 mpg? Maybe 4136 mpg?
    Maybe it’s new “Volt” mean Much Ado About Nothing?

  • CharlesF

    So another uninformed Ford basher. As is common in all industry, Ford and Toyota traded patents. Ford got hybrid patents and Toyota got clean Diesel patents. If you were an informed commenter you would know that the 47 mpg refers to the new Fusion hybrid’s city mpg figure. The Fusion hybrid has been the highest mpg mid size sedan sold in America (the Prius is a hatchback) from its introduction, until this year’s release of the new Camry hybrid. Looks like Toyota can claim the highest mpg mid size sedan for about half a year.

  • mitchell

    CharlesF, you’re right about the Ford-Toyota patent swap. But I think they are both doing very different things with hybrids, with Ford moving to more powerful Lithium ion batteries for its hybrid powertrains, which boosts efficiency to the 47 mpg you cite. Since more energy is contained in Li batteries, less energy is required from burning gas to drive the car. Toyota, for its part, is sticking to much older Nickel hydride batteries, which are much weaker than lithium, meaning it’s quite a feat to wring 43 mpg from that Ni-based system. In other words, you really can’t compare newest Camry to the upcoming Fusion hybrids. Just as you can’t compare the Camry to the Sonata hybrid, which also uses Lithium batteries.
    As far as the outgoing Fusion hybrid, it got better performance than the Camry, but its combined mpg figures were very similar to the Camry hybrid’s, according to Motor Trend which criticized the EPA ratings. Now I don’t think anyone should criticize Ford for lower mpgs, which are still very good for a car of that size, but it’s interesting that Honda is in the midst of several lawsuits regarding lower actual mileage numbers.

  • Van

    I am with you CharlesF, the 2012 Camry Hybrid is supposed to beat the 2012 Fusion Hybrid. We will get a second opinion when CR does a side by side comparison. But in about six months, March 2012 to September/October 2012, Ford is supposed to put the 2013 Fusion Hybrid looker with its 47 MPG in the showrooms. Don’t block the door.

  • veek

    Thanks for this very encouraging article, and for mentioning Mr. Kuang’s commendable goals of making the world a better place for him and his children. It’s also interesting to note where he works, and to note the industrial base is still where most of the actual (not legislated) improvements in technology emerge.

  • mitchell

    It does make sense to compare the Camry Hybrid to the outgoing, 2012 Fusion Hybrid because both use the same Ni-hydride battery technology, and in fact use much of the same hybrid powertrain components (the transmissions, for instance, are both made by Aisin, which explains hybrid car shortages last year). CR did do mpg estimates for the Prius and older Camry and Fusion hybrids and got much lower figures than EPA–about 35 mpg for both sedans.
    But again, it doesn’t make sense to compare the 2012 Camry hybrid to the 2013 Fusion hybrid, any more than it makes sense to compare the Camry or Prius to the Civic Hybrid (which gets 44 mpg) or Sonata hybrid (which gets 39 mpg). The latter two use much more energy-dense Lithium batteries. Where the Fusion will triumph is by setting new standards of fit, finish and reliability in hybrids powered by Lithium batteries. Lithium is still too new to say for sure how this will play out, but I think Ford will escape the issues that Volt had with its Li battery cells.

  • CharlesF

    The Camry, Fusion and Sonata hybrids are mid size sedans that people buy because of their high MPGs. So why does it matter which batter technology they use? I can see why people would want the older proven Ni-hydride, but the comparison is valid regaurdless of technology.

  • alex777

    Well…If you so “informed commenter” so please…. What do you know about new Ford Fusion 2013? How mach will it cost, how mach HP will it have, what acceleration will it have, what Cx will it have?Where is even one test, did MP test it (or review) like WV Jetta Hybrid 2013? I uderstood that all about a new Fusion 2013 but where is it? well we know about 47 mpg and all….Camry Hybrid 2012 is another Ford Basher not me! 25900$ 200 hp 7.6 s to 60 mlh and 43 mpg (it’s reality not announсe) – god blessed Kentucky and Toyota!!! IMHO Camry H 2012 will be best Hybrid after Prius in Dashbord forever and Camry will win Ford F PU in top 20. How long will we wait 47 mpg machine from Ford?
    OK if Toyota got clean Diesel patents but why it get joint project with BMW i mean “Toyota and BMW in green agreement” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15980436

  • alex777

    Well…If you so “informed commenter” so please…. What do you know about new Ford Fusion 2013? How mach will it cost, how mach HP will it have, what acceleration will it have, what Cx will it have?Where is even one test, did MP test it (or review) like WV Jetta Hybrid 2013? I uderstood that all about a new Fusion 2013 but where is it? well we know about 47 mpg and all….Camry Hybrid 2012 is another Ford Basher not me! 25900$ 200 hp 7.6 s to 60 mlh and 43 mpg (it’s reality not announсe) – god blessed Kentucky and Toyota!!! IMHO Camry H 2012 will be best Hybrid after Prius in Dashbord forever and Camry will win Ford F PU in top 20. How long will we wait 47 mpg machine from Ford?
    OK if Toyota got clean Diesel patents but why it get joint project with BMW i mean “Toyota and BMW in green agreement” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15980436

  • alex777

    Well…If you so “informed commenter” so please…. What do you know about new Ford Fusion 2013? How mach will it cost, how mach HP will it have, what acceleration will it have, what Cx will it have?Where is even one test, did MP test it (or review) like WV Jetta Hybrid 2013? I uderstood that all about a new Fusion 2013 but where is it? well we know about 47 mpg and all….Camry Hybrid 2012 is another Ford Basher not me! 25900$ 200 hp 7.6 s to 60 mlh and 43 mpg (it’s reality not announсe) – god blessed Kentucky and Toyota!!! IMHO Camry H 2012 will be best Hybrid after Prius in Dashbord forever and Camry will win Ford F PU in top 20. How long will we wait 47 mpg machine from Ford?
    OK if Toyota got clean Diesel patents but why it get joint project with BMW i mean “Toyota and BMW in green agreement” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15980436