Automotive News   |   Automotive News Europe   |   Autoweek   |   Automobilwoche

Automotive News China Newsletter
Register our free newsletter, sent each Monday and Thursday

     Automakers   Suppliers   Auto Show   Comment   Car Cutaway   Newsletters   Press Releases   Register for Newsletter
  Contact Us:   Editorial   Advertising   Subscription Information   |   About Us   Media Kit
Home >> Automaker Email this story   Print this story
 
Toyota to offer royalty-free access to hybrid-vehicle patents
Reuters | 2019/4/5

TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp. will offer free access to its hybrid-vehicle patents through 2030, it said on Wednesday, seeking to expand use of the lower-emission technology even as the global industry shifts toward full-electric cars.

The pledge by one of the world's biggest automakers to share its closely guarded patents, the second time it has opened up a technology, is aimed at driving industry uptake of hybrids and fending off the challenge of all-battery electric vehicles.

Toyota said it would grant licenses on nearly 24,000 patents on technologies used in its Prius, the world's first mass-produced "green" car, and offer to supply competitors with components including motors, power converters and batteries used in its lower-emissions vehicles.

"We want to look beyond producing finished vehicles," Toyota Executive Vice President Shigeki Terashi told reporters.

"We want to contribute to an increase in take up (of electric cars) by offering not just our technology but our existing parts and systems to other vehicle makers."

The Nikkei Asian Review first reported Toyota's plans to give royalty-free access to hybrid-vehicle patents.

Terashi said that the access excluded patents on its lithium-ion battery technology.

Key technology
Toyota's move to unlock its patents underlines its belief that hybrids are an effective alternative to all-battery EVs, given a fuel efficiency roughly double that of gasoline cars, lower cost and that they do not need charging infrastructure.

Toyota vehicles account for more than 80 percent of the global hybrid vehicle market.

"Toyota has realized that they made a mistake by protecting their hybrid technology for years. This prevented diffusion" said Janet Lewis, head of Asia transportation research at Macquarie Securities.

"Toyota on its own can't get key technology accepted, but if other companies use it, that offers the best chance of expansion," she added.

Since pioneering the Prius in 1997, Toyota has sold more than 13 million hybrids, which twin a conventional gasoline engine and electric motor, saving fuel by capturing energy during coasting and breaking and using it to power the motor.

Hybrid vehicles account for around 3 percent of all vehicles sold globally, eclipsing the roughly 1.5 percent share of all-battery EVs, according to LMC Automotive.

Global automakers have pledged to electrify their offerings as a growing number of countries slash vehicle emissions by as much as half by 2030, but many say that shifting to fully electric cars will take time given high cost of batteries.

Lewis at Macquarie said automakers in China and Europe could be eager to access Toyota's hybrid-vehicle patents as they look for lower-emission vehicles to sell in lower-tier cities where costly battery EVs are out of reach for many drivers.

Toyota is also betting on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as the ultimate zero-emissions vehicle, and as a result, has lagged many of its rivals in marketing all-battery EVs.

In 2015, it said it would allow access to its FCV-related patents through 2020. 

Related Stories
  • Toyota sells EV tech to Chinese startup Singulato
  •     --Published:2019/16/4
     
  • Toyota targets 8% increase in deliveries this year
  •     --Published:2019/29/1
     
  • Toyota sales growth outpaces Nissan, Honda in 2018
  •     --Published:2019/25/1
     
  • Toyota, Panasonic plan EV battery venture to challenge Chinese rivals, source says
  •     --Published:2019/22/1
     
  • Toyota shuffles China management team
  •     --Published:2018/4/12
     
  • Toyota: China sales growth to top 8.5% in 2018
  •     --Published:2018/27/11
     
  • The world's best-selling car gets makeover under Toyota's China gamble
  •     --Published:2018/16/11
     
  • Toyota Boshoku expands automotive filter parts capacity in Tianjin
  •     --Published:2018/2/11
     
  • Toyota, sensing an opening, debates building Lexus cars in China
  •     --Published:2018/9/10
     
  • Toyota set to share hybrid tech with China, report says
  •     --Published:2018/14/9
     
  • Toyota, Geely exploring joint hybrid vehicle tech
  •     --Published:2018/7/9
     
  • Toyota aims to triple China output by 2030
  •     --Published:2018/31/8
     
  • In China port city, Toyota lays foundation to ramp up output, sales
  •     --Published:2018/17/8
       
     
     

    Our Newsletter Editions
    Automotive News China produces two email newsletters each week. You can sort your news by the articles highlighted in each of our newsletters here.

    Select your newsletter     

     
     

    Automotive News China
    Room 1303, Building 2, Lane 99, South Hongcao Road,
    Shanghai 200233
    Telephone: 86-139-1851-5816
    Fax: 86-21-6495-0895
     
    Home | Help Center | About Us | Privacy Policy | RSS
    Entire contents © Crain Communications, Inc.
    Use of editorial content without permission is strictly prohibited. All Rights Reserved.
    ICP06057291