At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this past Monday, Toyota made headlines by doing the unthinkable: It took one step for the greater good of the auto industry by giving public access to almost 6,000 of its patents surrounding hydrogen fuel cell technology, completely royalty-free.
The patents will be made available freely to anyone in the world, and the patent portfolio covers fuel cell stacks, high-pressure hydrogen tanks, software control systems and the industrial processes that generate and supply gas, according to the BBC.
Bob Carter, senior vice president of Toyota said in a statement, “When good ideas are shared, great things can happen”. The first generation of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are expected to be released in the next five years, and he adds, it will “require unconventional collaboration among car makers, governments, power firms, and researchers”, as quoted by the BBC.
The first generation of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are expected to be released in the next five years, and he adds, it will “require unconventional collaboration among car makers, governments, power firms, and researchers”, as quoted by the BBC.
Electric vehicles have seen a surge in refuelling stations globally in the past two years, and it seems that Toyota has made this effort so as to ensure a guarantee for the much harder to find hydrogen refuelling stations.
Toyota has followed Tesla’s move, a company with controversial products and business strategies, who was the first to share its patent portfolio in 2014.
Just before the announcement was made, Toyota unveiled its Mirai car, using world renown physicist Michio Kaku to showcase it’s first hydrogen-powered vehicle that went on sale in Japan in the middle of December 2014. It will make it’s way over to the U.S. and Europe as early as fall 2015.
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