Toyota surprised us all this week with a very responsable and admirable move. It announced this week that it will grant royalty-free licenses on nearly 24,000 patents it holds (including some pending applications) for vehicle electrification-related technologies. Considering the amount of time, money and resources needed to develop sustainable mobility to help combat rising emissions and continuing to utilize currently available technology, Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) announced this measure related to its patents and technical knowledge to further promote the widespread use of electrified vehicles.
But that is not all. Toyota will as a second, also most important measure 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.
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.
Brave new world, and Toyota is setting (also) the pace… The company will continue the development and diversification of electrified vehicles as it now turns its sights to include the mass production of battery electric vehicles from 2020, starting in China and India, followed by Japan, the United States and Europe.
The efforts to improve and increase the diversity of electrified power train options is tied directly to Toyota’s ‘Environmental Challenge 2050’, wherein the company aims to achieve annual electrified vehicle sales of 5.5 million units by 2030, as announced in December 2017. To achieve its goal, Toyota unveiled plans to have 10 BEV models available worldwide by the early 2020s, and from around 2025, the company aims to have an electrified version available for all vehicle models across its global lineup. Granting royalty-free patents and providing technical support is an important additional step…which can only be applauded.
Hans Knol ten Bensel