Toyota gives free access to fuel cell technology
Announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week, the carmaker will enable interested parties to use 5,680 fuel cell vehicle patent licences and applications royalty-free, until 2020.
By doing so, the company hopes others will be able to skip time-consuming development processes and the sector will benefit from shared expertise, in turn improving the technology for consumers and broadening its appeal.
In addition to vehicle technology, the patents include 70 related to hydrogen filling stations, which will be available indefinitely, aiding the roll-out of refuelling infrastructure. Toyota has traditionally made its intellectual property available to others for a usage fee.
Today’s announcement on patents has less to do with the hydrogen fuel cell car than it does about the cultural growth of a hydrogen society,’ said Bob Carter, senior vice president, Toyota Motor Sales.
‘Traditionally intellectual properties are fiercely guarded because they have great monetary value. By eliminating traditional corporate boundaries we can speed the metabolism of R&D … and move into the future of mobility quicker, more effectively, and more economically. It is indeed a turning point in automotive history.’