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Automotive giant Toyota has made the radical move to release all of its plug-in hybrid technology patents online, royalty-free.
In what could be seen as a massive push toward the acceleration of hybrid technologies worldwide, Toyota announced that a host of nearly 24,000 patents will be freely accessible for researchers, competitors and individuals to use, with a grant period running until the end of 2030.
As Japan Times puts it, “Rather than shutting rivals out, Toyota hopes that making its motor and battery technology accessible to other companies will broaden the market, in particular for hybrids, a field the auto giant leads with its Prius vehicles.”
Toyota’s Executive Vice President, Shigeki Terashi said that Toyota’s mission statement is “to look beyond producing finished vehicles.”
“We want to contribute to an increase in the take up (of electric cars) by offering not just our technology but our existing parts and systems to other vehicle makers.”
Governments worldwide are becoming ever-more stringent in their emissions requirements for vehicles, some even banning the production of diesel and petrol powered vehicles by a certain year. Terashi acknowledged this, adding that “the level of electrification technology required by global environmental regulations are becoming stricter each year,” and by the look of it, Toyota is hoping to ease the transition with the opening-up of their patents.
We’ve reported previously that Tesla was the first manufacturer to make a move like this, when their CEO Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla’s patents were freely accessible online.