Toyota Opens up 24,000 Hybrid Tech Patents to Other Automakers

In an attempt to promote hybrid cars, Toyota will allow other companies to use nearly 24,000 patents related to its hybrid car technology, the Japanese automaker announced Wednesday. The patents will be available to license for royalty-free use until 2030.

The royalty-free patents include advanced technologies found in electrified vehicles, particularly those used in hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell electric vehicles that have helped Toyota achieve enhanced performance, reduced size, and cost reductions.

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Toyota had previously licensed its hybrid technology to automakers like Nissan, Mazda, and Subaru before today’s announcement.

Toyota will also provide fee- and contract-based technical support to other manufacturers developing and selling electrified vehicles when they use Toyota’s electrification technologies as part of their powertrain systems. This includes helping other automakers achieve high-level product performance in terms of fuel efficiency, output, and quietness.

Ultimately, by granting royalty-free patents and providing technical support on its vehicle electrification systems, Toyota aims to help further promote the widespread use of EVs, and in doing so, help governments, automakers, and society at large accomplish goals related to climate change.

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Toyota’s executive vice president Shigeki Terashi said:

“Based on the high volume of inquiries we receive about our vehicle electrification systems from companies that recognize a need to popularize hybrid and other electrified vehicle technologies, we believe that now is the time for co-operation.”

Terashi added that the decision is part of the company’s move to help combat rising emissions and bridge the industry’s transition to fully electric vehicles.

“If the number of electrified vehicles accelerates significantly in the next 10 years, they will become standard, and we hope to play a role in supporting that process.”

Toyota Prius 1997

According to Reuters, Toyota is the most prolific maker and seller of hybrid vehicles in the world, with about 80% of the market share. Toyota’s first hybrid, the Prius, debuted in Japan back in 1997 and started its worldwide spread in 2000. Since then, Toyota has sold more than 13 million hybrid vehicles, and currently offers hybrid versions of seven different models (including three types of Prius).

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