Currently reading: Toyota offers to share electrified tech with rival firms
Japanese company will offer royalty-free licences to almost 24,000 electrified vehicle parts and systems
James Attwood, digital editor
2 mins read
3 April 2019

Toyota will offer other car firms royalty-free use of nearly 24,000 patents it holds for electrified vehicle technology, in a bid to accelerate the development of such machines.

The royalty-free technology licences relate to systems including electric motors, power control systems and system controls. While the bulk have been developed for Toyota’s hybrid technology, the firm says they can also be applied to plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles.

Toyota will also offer fee-based technical support to firms producing electrified vehicles that feature Toyota motors, batteries, power and electric control systems. It says the guidance will allow firms to “achieve high levels of vehicle performance.”

Toyota executive vice-president Shigeki Terashi said: “Based on the high volume of enquiries we receive about our vehicle electrification systems from companies that recognise a need to popularise hybrid and other electrified vehicle technologies, we believe that now is the time for co-operation.

“If the number of electrified vehicles accelerates significantly in the next 10 years they will become standard.”

In total, Toyota will offer licences to 23,740 patents, with the grants available to firms from now until the end of 2030. The firm has offered 5680 similar licences for fuel cell systems since 2015. 

Toyota has invested heavily in hybrid technology since the launch of the Prius in 1997. The new Corolla is offered with a choice of two hybrid powertrains, and there is also a hybrid option for the new RAV4 SUV. It is currently developing its first pure electric cars, with the aim to offer 10 such vehicles by the early 2020s.

Toyota’s move echoes an offer by the Volkswagen Group to licence its new MEB electric architecture to other car manufacturers. It is another example of car firms aiming to pool resources to accelerate development of EV systems, which is needed as firms face increasingly tough CO2 emissions targets from legislators.

Toyota has already established partnerships with Mazda and Suzuki, which both involve the development of electrified technology. The Suzuki deal also involves Toyota producing Suzuki-badged hybrid models based on the RAV4 and Corolla Wagon.

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3 April 2019

Hope it goes better than their 'Hybrid for BMW Diesel tech' swap a few years ago.

3 April 2019

On the assumption that Toyota is not stupid then this is a fairly big strategic play to stimulate the shift to electric. Obviously, mass-market buyers are utterly indifferent to the number of cylinders, high-rev peakiness or trigger-like throttle response - they simply need transportation. There's a fair chance that the die-hard, opposite-lock heroes will continue to huff and puff but the market is shifting. As a former TVR driver, we used to believe that it was OK not to have ABS, "because I don't like a dead(er) pedal and can cadence brake". That, in my case, happens to be true but I was younger and more arrogant to think I was better, I'm not. 

Electric is the future or a hybridized solution. We may find that some real drivers will linger on a generation or two to ICE-centric brands like Alfa which is great. But the majority of shoppers, commuters, school-runners will be totally happy ICE-free. They will, I imagine, be utterly indifferent that the manufacturers have shared components and tech under the skin in the way that PC and phone manufacturers do. That's OK, there's still room for an Apple-type brand in the car world of great emotional appeal - but it's a niche.

3 April 2019

Why would Toyota want to offer this to competitors at no cost? The only explanation I can think of is that maybe the company is already one step ahead. So making patents available for existing technology might be one way for Toyota to maintain a competitive advantage.

Does anyone have any better ideas?   

3 April 2019

Well the grant for certain plug-in Hybrids capable of doing more than a set mileage went from £x, to £2,500 to £0 within a relatively short time.

This means a plug-in Hybrid like the Prius+ effectively nets £2,500 LESS to Toyota which is a fair chunk.  It can't be passed on to the consumer as they already pay a premium of around £1,200 over an ICE.

Toyota needs partners to catch up with BEV tech as it wastes reseacrch time and money on the Hydrogen Mirra when Nissan, Renault etc have forged ahead with the LEAF and Zoe. 


3 April 2019

It’s relatively old tech which will already have paid back for them. Other manufacturers have stolen the march on plugin and EV technology, so why not enhance their credentials as an environmentally responsible, philanthropic company by opening access? They won’t be wasting any more money on developing something that ended up being the wrong route, and have already redirected their resources to full EV.  Great move. 

3 April 2019

But Toyota's hybrids are crap, why anyone would want to use their tech is beyond me.

3 April 2019
typos1 wrote:

But Toyota's hybrids are crap, why anyone would want to use their tech is beyond me.


Dear me.

3 April 2019

LP, if I understand it then it's free if you use their parts and supply chain. So if you can supply the power train to many other manufacturers you make billions! Think Apple and Samsung. Over half the value of an iPhone is supplied by Samsung

17 July 2019

Toyota was going to offer and share some of the details that have electrified the technician among all rival firms. There has many of the frictions that was on this was the first site that work among these aspects that was useful to read at this discipline.

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