With consideration for the amount of time, money and resources needed to develop sustainable mobility to help combat rising emissions and continuing to utilise currently available technology, Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) has announced two measures related to its patents and technical knowledge to further promote the widespread use of electrified vehicles.
First, Toyota announced that it will grant royalty-free licenses on nearly 24,000 patents it holds (including some pending applications) for vehicle electrification related technologies. Second, Toyota will provide fee-based technical support to other manufacturers developing and selling electrified vehicles when they use Toyota's motors, batteries, PCUs, control ECUs, and other vehicle electrification system technologies as part of their powertrain systems.
Ultimately, by granting royalty-free patents and providing technical support on its vehicle electrification systems, Toyota aims to help further promote the widespread use of electrified vehicles, and in so doing, help governments, automakers, and society at large accomplish goals related to climate change.
Shigeki Terashi, Member of the Board and Executive Vice President of Toyota Motor Corporation said; “Based on the high volume of inquiries we receive about our vehicle electrification systems from companies that recognise a need to popularise hybrid and other electrified vehicle technologies, we believe that now is the time for cooperation. If the number of electrified vehicles accelerates significantly in the next 10 years, they will become standard, and we hope to play a role in supporting that process.”
Steve Tormey, Chief Executive of Toyota Ireland added;
“At Toyota we believe we have the ability, and indeed the responsibility, to improve the future outlook of our planet and its citizens – a premise which is at the heart of our brand promise ‘Built for a Better World’.
We see the provision of the royalty-free licenses as a ‘call to arms’ to all car manufacturers to help expedite the development and roll-out of more sustainable mobility solutions and ensure cleaner air for future generations.”
The royalty-free patents are advanced technologies found in electrified vehicles, particularly those used in hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) that have helped Toyota realise enhanced performance, reduced size, and cost reductions. More specifically, the patents included are for parts and systems, such as electric motors, power control units (PCUs), and system controls. These are core technologies that can be applied to the development of various types of electrified vehicles including HEVs, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV). Together, Toyota will offer approximately 23,740 patents awarded over more than 20 years of electrified vehicle technology development. The grant period will start immediately and last through the end of 2030. Contracts for the grants may be issued by contacting Toyota and discussing specific licensing terms and conditions.
Toyota has already been offering 5,680 patents related to its fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) since January 2015. Now, Toyota is adding approximately 2,590 patents related to electric motors, 2,020 patents related to PCUs, 7,550 patents related to system controls, 1,320 engine transaxle patents, 2,200 charger patents, and 2,380 fuel cell patents (bringing the total of fuel cell related patents to 8,060).
Toyota is already the most electrified car brand in the world with sales of over 12 million self-charging hybrids. In 2019, 80% of Toyota Ireland’s car sales will be self-charging hybrids which operate in pure electric mode more than 60% of the time.