Though it might be hard to believe at first, Toyota recently made over 5,600 fuel-cell patents open to the public, royalty-free. So why would Toyota make all of its research open? Apparently, this move is designed to encourage other automakers to follow suit and make the auto industry more eco-friendly overall.
The jaw-dropping announcement came during the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) after Toyota showed off some of its new technology. According to Digital Trends, this gives manufacturers free use of Toyota fuel-cell technology for fuel cell system software, fuel cell stacks, high-pressure tanks, and hydrogen supply and production systems. Basically, it’s everything you need to build your own Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV).
“At Toyota, we believe that when good ideas are shared, great things can happen,” said Bob Carter, Senior VP of Automotive Operations at Toyota Motor Sales. “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.”
Although manufacturers are encouraged to go crazy, Toyota does have some stipulations. The information cannot be used for anything other than FCVs and the offer expires in 2020. By then, Toyota hopes the industry will have come far enough that fuel cell technology dominates. At Hurlbert Toyota, we’re excited to see what other automakers will do with this new information.