Toyota has announced that it is providing its hydrogen fuel cell technology royalty, free to other automajors to create a better future. The announcement took place at 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and hence the company would offer more than 5,600 fuel cell and related patents held globally for royalty free use. The patents include industry leading fuel cell technology used in new Toyota Mirai.
Out of the 5,600 fuel cell and related patents, there are approximately 1,970 patents related to fuel cell stacks, 290 associated with high-pressure hydrogen tanks, 3,350 related to fuel cell system software control and 70 patents related to hydrogen production and supply. The hydrogen fuel cell patents will be made available to automakers who will produce and sell fuel cell vehicles, as well as to fuel cell parts suppliers and energy companies who establish and operate fuelling stations, through the initial market introduction period, anticipated to last until 2020. Companies working to develop and introduce fuel cell buses and industrial equipment, such as forklifts, are also covered.
“At Toyota, we believe that when good ideas are shared, great things can happen,” said Bob Carter, Senior Vice President of Automotive Operations at Toyota Motor Sales, USA Inc. “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. 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.” Today’s announcement represents the first time that Toyota has made its patents available free of charge and reflect the company’s aggressive support for developing a hydrogen-based society.