Toyota Motor Corp., which operates a large North American research and development center in Ann Arbor, says it will grant royalty-free licenses for nearly 24,000 patents it holds for electric vehicle technologies.
The automaker also will offer fee-based technical support to other manufacturers using its EV equipment in an effort to promote the widespread use of electrified vehicles around the globe.
The goal of the measures, says Toyota, is to help governments, automakers, and society at large cost effectively accomplish goals related to climate change in the shortest possible time.
“Based on the high volume of inquiries we receive about our vehicle electrification systems from companies that recognize a need to popularize hybrid and other electrified vehicle technologies, we believe that now is the time for cooperation,” said Shigeki Terashi, a member of the board and executive vice president of Toyota. “If the number of electrified vehicles accelerates significantly in the next 10 years, they will become standard, and we hope to play a role in supporting that process.”
The royalty-free patents are advanced technologies found in electrified vehicles, particularly those used in hybrid electric vehicles that have helped Toyota realize enhanced performance, reduced size, and cost reductions.
The patents included are for parts and systems, such as electric motors, power control units, and system controls. These are core technologies that can be applied to the development of various types of electrified vehicles including HEVs, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and fuel cell electric vehicles.
Together, Toyota will offer approximately 23,740 patents awarded over more than 20 years of electrified vehicle technology development. The grant period will start immediately and last through the end of 2030. Contracts for the grants may be issued by contacting Toyota and discussing specific licensing terms and conditions.
Toyota has been offering 5,680 patents related to its fuel cell electric vehicles since January 2015. Now, Toyota is adding approximately 2,590 patents related to electric motors, 2,020 patents related to PCUs, 7,550 patents related to system controls, 1,320 engine transaxle patents, 2,200 charger patents, and 2,380 additional fuel cell patents.
The fee-based technical support Toyota will offer includes providing overviews of vehicle electrification systems, control guides, and detailed explanations of tuning guides for vehicles that will utilize its systems.