While many of us are focused on preparing for Thanksgiving Day, Ford has something else to be thankful for: its 500,000th EcoBoost engine. The EcoBoost engine hit a big milestone recently with its 500,000th engine being produced just three years after its launch in 2009. The 500,000th engine was fitted into a 2013 Ford Escape that rolled off the line at Ford's Louisville Assembly Plant.

By the end of next month, Ford customers will be able to choose eight Ford-built vehicles that deliver 40 or more miles per gallon — double the number available last year and more than any other automaker. Ford also recently introduced the world's most fuel efficient mid-size sedan with the Fusion hybrid, rated at 47 mpg city, 47 mpg highway and 47 mpg combined. The C-Max Hybrid is also rated at a combined 47 mpg, which beats the Toyota Prius v.

Ford's powertrains use hundreds of thousands of lines of computer code and related parameters that are adjusted to optimize the engine and transmission operation. It's these processes that largely make up the EcoBoost patent contribution, and make Ford's use of direct injection and turbocharging of its engines like no other automaker in the world.

Ford holds more than 125 patents on its EcoBoost engine technology, which uses turbocharging, direct gasoline injection and variable valve timing to boost fuel economy by about 20 percent without sacrificing performance.

To read more on Ford's EcoBoost engine, check out this informational document.