Toyota shares its hydrogen patents

Toyota has announced that it intends to share approximately 6000 patents relating to its hydrogen fuel cell technology. The drive is being instigated to find an alternative fuel source and end the industry’s reliance on hydrocarbons.

Toyota will provide royalty free access until the end of 2020 to anybody who wishes to use them. The patents relate to fuel cell stacks, high pressure hydrogen tanks, hydrogen production and supply and fuel cell system software control. The move will be seen as an attempt by Toyota to help develop the industry and Toyota’s first fuel cell vehicle the Toyota Mirai.

It is expected that there will be several hydrogen cell fuelled cars being released within the next five years and car manufacturers will need to cooperate to ensure adequate re-fuelling stations, which are very few and far between, are available. A similar move was carried out by Tesla last year, again to develop the market at a much faster rate. It will be interesting to see if this open and cooperative approach to develop the market takes off.

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