Tech Update: Toyota Speeds Up Hydrogen Car Development By Releasing Patents
Toyota makes hydrogen cell patents available to competitors
Toyota plans to speed up the “development and introduction” of hydrogen powered vehicles by making thousands of related patents available, royalty free, to competitors.
Hydrogen could become the default fuel for cars as it is less polluting than fossil-based equivalents.
Its consumption does not produce carbon dioxide, but water vapour and heat. Hydrogen can also be produced fairly easily whereas the supply of crude oil is finite.
Of Toyota's 5,680 royalty free patents, 1,970 relate to the fuel cell stacks where hydrogen is mixed with oxygen to produce electricity for electric motors. 290 relate to high-pressure fuel tanks, 3,350 to software, and 70 to hydrogen production and supply.
Toyota Boss Discusses Hydrogen Fuel Patents
Bob Carter, Senior Vice President of Automotive Operations at Toyota Motor Sales (USA) said: “At Toyota, we believe that when good ideas are shared, great things can happen.
“The first generation hydrogen fuel cell vehicles - launched between 2015 and 2020 - will be critical, requiring a concerted effort and unconventional collaboration between automakers, government regulators, academia and energy providers,” Mr Carter explains.
“By eliminating traditional corporate boundaries, we can speed the development of new technologies and move into the future of mobility more quickly, effectively and economically.”
Access To Patents Limited To Appropriate Companies
Patents can be accessed by companies that build and sell fuel cell vehicles, as well as fuel cell parts suppliers and energy companies that establish and operate refuelling stations.
Companies that develop and introduce fuel cell based industrial equipment, such as forklifts, have access too. Requests from parts suppliers and companies that want to adapt the technology for use outside of the motor industry are considered individually.