Toyota’s Release of Fuel Cell Patents Opens up Technology
Remember when Tesla opened up its patents to the public back in June? Now, Toyota is following in Tesla’s footsteps by releasing over 5,600 fuel cell and related patents for royalty-free use, presumably in the hopes that more automakers will join the hydrogen fuel-cell party and help make the technology popular enough to reach the mainstream. Currently, fuel cell vehicles are limited in that there just isn’t the refueling infrastructure to make them viable choices in the majority of the country, but with Toyota’s release of fuel cell patents, this could all change in the coming years.
This announcement came at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which is going on now in Vegas. The list of patents includes 3,350 related to fuel cell system software control, 1,970 related to fuel cell stacks, 290 associated with high-pressure hydrogen tanks, and 70 related to hydrogen production and supply. Toyota will provide these patents, free of charge, to automakers who plan to produce and sell the vehicles, as well as to parts suppliers and energy companies working towards developing parts and infrastructure to support hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
“At Toyota, we believe that when good ideas are shared, great things can happen,” remarked Bob Carter, Toyota Motor Sales, USA Inc.’s Senior Vice President of Automotive Operations. “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. By eliminating traditional corporate boundaries, we can speed the development of new technologies and move into the future of mobility more quickly, effectively and economically.”
Although Toyota released patents regarding hybrid vehicles back when the Prius was born, this marks the first time that the automaker is doing so for free.
Dawn Carberry is the digital marketing manager and the head blogger for the Haddad Automotive Group, located in the city of Pittsfield in Western MA. The Haddad Auto Group includes Haddad Toyota, Haddad Subaru, Haddad Hyundai, and Haddad Nissan new car dealerships, and Haddad of South County used cars.