As a general rule, car companies are extremely secretive about their technological developments. Anything that could provide a unique selling proposition or give an edge over the competition is kept under lock and key—being guarded more fervently than the recipe for Coca-Cola. However, Toyota has now offered royalty-free licences on almost 24,000 of its electric vehicle patents.
This essentially means that any company wishing to build a hybrid or fully electric vehicle will have complete access to all of Toyota’s work without having to pay a single penny.
And if you’re struggling to make sense of the drawings and literature that make up the patent, Toyota will also offer technical support to any manufacturer that requests their assistance. Any advice given will come with a fee, of course—you didn’t think everything would be free, did you?
In total though, 23,740 patents will be available from the past 20 years of Toyota’s development of hybrid technology. That’s a whole lot of tech. Tech that Toyota believes will help speed up the manufacture and uptake of hybrid or electric vehicles across the world in the face of ever-worsening climate change.
“Based on the high volume of enquiries 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, the Japanese carmaker’s executive vice president.
“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.”
Is this the start of a new, sharing-is-caring attitude in the motoring industry?
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.