An incredible gesture from Toyota – 24 000 patents related to electric vehicles are being released . . . for free.
GENEROSITY, THE TOYOTA WAY: It might sound too good to be true . . but is it? This week we have learned about a gesture that the world will surely remember. It comes from a company that has revolutionized concepts in business, efficiency, management and human resources – Toyota. There’s no question that we have come to associate efficient business principles as being part of “The Toyota Way”. This time we are wondering whether they are a company that serve corporate profits or . . . humanity in general. With regard to how much time, money and resources it takes to develop sustainable mobility to counteract increasing emissions and to continue to utilize current technology, Toyota has today announced that they will release close to 24,000 patents for free and offer technical knowledge to further support and facilitate vehicle hybrid technology. From Japan with love. . .
This is not a small fish. With 370,000 employees in 170 countries, the world’s most accessible electric hybrid technology and as global sponsors to both the Paralympic and the Olympic Committee, Toyota Motor Corporation is one of the world’s leading automotive companies. For two decades, the company has electrified the car world and more than 13 million electric hybrids have been sold since the very first mass-produced electric hybrid Toyota Prius was launched in 1997. In 2018, 74% of Toyota’s sales of passenger cars in Sweden were electrified and the company’s models have Europe’s lowest average CO2 emissions.
The patents are unveiled . . .
Companies, conglomerates and multinational companies have secrets. In fact, we all do. Secrecy protects value and competitive advantage so why is Toyota coming forward with these generous patents? Firstly, this is not some small number that is going to be irrelevant when it comes to their knowledge in the field of hybrid technology (which has given them a leadership position when it comes to all things hybrid). Toyota will release close to 24,000 technology patents (!) related to the electrification of vehicles – all for free. In addition, Toyota will offer, at a cost, technical support to other vehicle manufacturers to develop electrified vehicles equipped with Toyota’s electric motors, batteries, electronic boxes and other electrified systems. By releasing the patents free and offering knowledge, the goal for Toyota is to further support and enable the use of electrified vehicles – which in turn helps governments, car companies and society achieve goals related to climate change.
“Given the large number of inquiries we receive about our electrified systems from other companies that want to make electric hybrids and other electrified vehicles more easily accessible, we are convinced that it is now time for cooperation”, says Shigeki Terashi, Executive Vice President at Toyota Motor Corporation. “If the number of electrified vehicles increases in large numbers over the next ten years, they will become an obvious choice for everyone. And we hope to be able to contribute to that process. ”
The free patents contain advanced technology for electrified vehicles, especially those used in electric hybrids (HEVs or Hybrid Electric Vehicles) that have already helped Toyota improve performance, reduce size and reduce the cost of its own electric hybrids. More specifically, the patents include electric motors, power control units (PCU) and system controllers. This can be used in the development of various types of electrified vehicles, including HEVs, charging hybrids and fuel cell vehicles which are growing in demand worldwide. In total, Toyota offers 23,740 patents with knowledge and experience from more than 20 years of electrified vehicles. The patents were released immediately and are available until the end of 2030. Access to the patents is provided by contacting Toyota and agreeing on specific needs together.
. . . But the journey of releasing patents did not start there, as it happened four years ago, more precisely since January 2015, Toyota has offered 5,680 patents related to fuel cell technology. Now Toyota has added an additional 2,590 patents on electric motors, 2,020 pieces including PCUs, 7,550 on system controllers, 1,320 related to Toyota’s planetary gearbox, 2,200 on charger and 2,380 fuel cell patents (allowing the total number of fuel cell-related free patents now are 8,060). For a fee, Toyota also offers technical knowledge and support on, among other things, electrified systems, control guides and detailed knowledge for adjustment and adaptation for vehicles that use the system. Knowledge and support will, among other things, help the car companies to achieve a higher fuel efficiency and performance for their vehicles. The service will be contract-based and more information will be given to interested parties.
What do you think? It’s difficult to say whether Toyota’s pristine reputation can become any better, but this certainly takes it up to another level. Every company has secrets and an individual approach to doing things, but the Toyota Way is world renowned and with this in mind, we applaud them for another step towards a future where hybrid tech is more widespread.
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