A very big move to push for hybridisation within the industry.
In order to ensure that hybrid technology continues to proliferate across the industry, Toyota has released some 24,000 patents related to its hybrid technologies, opening up to the world some of the innovations that they had managed to work through since they first brought hybrid technology to the masses with the original Prius.
The patents involved relate to things like their electric motor technology, their power converters, and their batteries. They’ve also offered up access to the technologies from their hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and fuel-cell electric cars that have helped them to achieve greater performance, better space efficiency, and improved economies.
Toyota won’t stop there though, as they will also provide technical support (either on contract or for a fee) to automakers looking to utilise Toyota’s technologies to develop & produce electrified vehicles. This assistance even goes as far as to help automakers sharpen the fuel efficiency, performance, and even refinement of their eventual products. Committed, eh?
“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 now is the time for cooperation. If the number of electrified vehicles accelerates significantly in the next decade, they will become standard, and we hope to play a role in supporting that process.” – Shigeki Terashi, Executive Vice President & Boardmember, Toyota Motor Co.
Toyota’s move to do this is broadly similar in nature to Tesla’s similar move a while back, and for the same reason. Tesla released its patents surrounding their batteries & propulsion technology in order to trigger an explosion of EV development which, arguably, they managed to do. Toyota hopes that by doing this they can herald a new age for hybrid powertrains, ones that’ll utilise the resources available to us now in the most efficient manner.