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Toyota inviting royalty-free use of ~5,680 hydrogen fuel cell patents

At CES, Toyota announced that it will invite royalty-free use of approximately 5,680 fuel cell related patents held globally, including critical technologies developed for the new Toyota Mirai. The list includes approximately 1,970 patents related to fuel cell stacks, 290 associated with high-pressure hydrogen tanks, 3,350 related to fuel cell system software control and 70 patents related to hydrogen production and supply.

The announcement covers only fuel cell-related patents wholly owned by Toyota. Patents related to fuel cell vehicles will be available for royalty-free licenses until the end of 2020. Patents for hydrogen production and supply will remain open for an unlimited duration. As part of licensing agreements, Toyota will request, but will not require, that other companies share their fuel cell-related patents with Toyota for similar royalty-free use.

The first generation hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, launched between 2015 and 2020, will be critical, requiring a concerted effort and unconventional collaboration between automakers, government regulators, academia and energy providers. By eliminating traditional corporate boundaries, we can speed the development of new technologies and move into the future of mobility more quickly, effectively and economically.

—Bob Carter, Senior Vice President of Automotive Operations at Toyota Motor Sales, USA

Toyota has in the past opened its intellectual properties through collaboration, and facilitated adoption of hybrid vehicles by licensing related patents. Today’s announcement represents the first time that Toyota has made its patents available free of charge and reflects the company’s aggressive support for developing a hydrogen-based society.

This Toyota initiative builds on previous commitments, including substantial financial support for the development of a hydrogen fueling infrastructure in California and the northeastern United States. In May 2014, Toyota announced a $7.3-million loan to FirstElement Fuels to support the operations and maintenance of 19 hydrogen fueling stations across California. In November 2014, Toyota announced a collaboration with Air Liquide to develop and supply a phased network of 12 state-of-the-art hydrogen stations targeted for New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

The hydrogen fuel cell patents will be made available to automakers who will produce and sell fuel cell vehicles, as well as to fuel cell parts suppliers and energy companies who establish and operate fueling stations, through the initial market introduction period, anticipated to last until 2020.

Companies working to develop and introduce fuel cell busses and industrial equipment, such as forklifts, are also covered. Requests from parts suppliers and companies looking to adapt fuel cell technology outside of the transportation sector will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Companies interested in Toyota’s fuel cell-related patents will negotiate individual contracts with Toyota. Additional details, including licensing terms and application process, are available upon request.



One should also factor in the potential for renewable electricity that can be very cheap when in oversupply that would including household sized systems where the ev can be integrated as storage, backup and also potentially supply grid services. That starts to put downward pressure on both automotive power costs as well as household cost that will flow thru to cheaper national energy costs if it all pans out as expected.

Toyota's hydrogen plans are really just harmonising their part of official Japanese govt policy of ramping up Japan's hydrogen economy targets with mandated implementation from auto industry.

It seems this is a Toyota way of achieving this goal.

As Toyota can't achieve it on their own, it seems a feasible solution.


H2 may allow Japan, Germany and many other nations to get off Nuclear and fossil fuels and GHG emissions at the same time.

Such worthwhile technologies should not be delayed by profit hungry patent holders.

If the world could take a 10 to 20 year holiday on EV batteries patents, solar energy and extended range EVs would become competive much sooner?


The Focus EV sold for about $40,000 two years ago, minus the $7500 federal tax credit and the $2500 California tax credit that makes it a $30,000 car plus tax, license and delivery.

SO, we have a $40,000 car subsidized to $30,000 that sells for $16,000 TWO years later. THAT is s STEEP depreciation curve.

As prices on the new Focus Electrics (and all other electric cars) come down from "new technology introduction" price levels to mature product price levels, of course the first generation product resale will be dramatically less. Happens with my computers too. But as it's a virtuous cycle, I'm not complaining. That price decrease is generally a good thing.

Since we're talking about price, why not be precise:

The Focus Electric now has an MSRP of $29,170, and a TrueCar estimate of $28,649. From which you can subtract between $10,000 to 12,500 in California, Georgia and a few other states. So about $15k - $18 for a brand new premium trim level Focus.

A two year old Focus costs $16,000 SJC? Compared to a brand new Focus in most EV friendly states, they seem to hold their value very well.

If you don't like heavy depreciation on brand new tech EVs, lease! At $0 down and $159 per month, and fuel cost of $1 per gallon equivalent these are practically free cars.

There is really no way to deny that.


I don't recall the Prius losing HALF of its value the first two years, that was something very new. Lots of people say everyone should buy electric cars, but they have no intention of buying one. That duplicitous hypocrisy is endemic with true believers.

The Prius did not get $10,000 - $12,000 in external incentives. Why would the second purchaser not expect that "discount" to be passed along.

Either your ideology gets in the way of your reasoning, or you're not very good at math.

Seriously - what is not to like about a Ford Focus Electric with $0 down and $169 per month, no maintenance for the entire 3 year lease term and... HOV stickers!

Please, tell me where I get a better deal than that.

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