Toyota is looking to propel the future of the fuel cell vehicle with the recent announcement that they will be granting royalty-free use to thousands of their patents.
“I’m happy and extremely proud to announce to you today that Toyota will grant royalty-free use of all 5,680 of our fuel cell patents, including pending patents,” said Senior Vice President of Toyota’s Automotive Operations, Bob Carter, on January 5 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
The patents are to be used by companies manufacturing and selling fuel cell vehicles. Carter stated that these patents – which are critical to the development and production of fuel cells vehicles – will be available through 2020.
This from CNET:
Although fuel cell cars can gather oxygen from the air, they need to carry highly pressurized hydrogen tanks. There is currently very little infrastructure to support filling hydrogen tanks around the country. Toyota’s patent release could spur more automakers to build fuel cell cars, creating a demand for more hydrogen stations.
In order to supply the demand for hydrogen stations, Toyota is offering patents that will allow those building hydrogen fueling stations to expand their network.
“Because it focuses on the rapid expansion of hydrogen fueling station networks, Toyota will also provide – for the first time ever – royalty-free use of approximately 70 hydrogen stations related patents indefinitely,” said Carter.
Grating royalty-free access to these fuel cell patents isn’t the only thing Toyota is doing to push innovation in automobile technology. Recently, Toyota partnered with ECS to create the ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship.
Toyota, in conjunction with ECS, is looking to encourage young professors and scholars to pursue research in green energy technology that may promote the development of next-generation vehicles capable of utilizing alternative fuels.