Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp says it will allow other automakers to use 23,740 of its hybrid-vehicle patents in a bid to drive industry uptake of hybrids cars as well as fending off the challenge of all-battery electric vehicles.
What this means is that Toyota will supply fellow automakers with hybrid vehicle techs and components such as fuel cells, electric motors, power control units (PCU), system controls, power converters, engine transaxles, chargers and batteries used in its lower-emissions hybrid vehicles,for free.
The patents will be available for free use until 2030. Toyota had previously licensed its hybrid technology to automakers like Nissan, Mazda and Subaru.
The Japanese automaker is currently the most prolific maker and seller of hybrid vehicles in the world, with about 80 percent of the market.
Since the debut of its first hybrid car, the Prius in 1997 , the automaker has sold more than 13 million hybrid vehicles.It currently offers hybrid versions of seven different models including three types of Prius.
Toyota’s move to share its technologies with other automakers underlines its belief that hybrids are an effective alternative to all-electric vehicles, given a fuel efficiency roughly double that of petrol powered cars, lower cost and that they do not need charging infrastructure.