Toyota is hoping to increase adoption of hydrogen fuel cell technology by inviting royalty-free use of an estimated 5,680 global fuel cell patents as it begins marketing and selling its Mirai fuel cell sedan.
The hydrogen fuel cell patents will be available to automakers who produce and sell fuel cell vehicles, along with companies who produce fuel cell parts. The company is "opening the door to the hydrogen future," said Toyota Motor Sales USA's Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations, at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The list of patents includes 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.
Toyota will offer the patents related to fuel cell vehicles with royalty-free licenses through 2020, while the patents for hydrogen production and supply will remain open for an unlimited duration, according to Toyota.
Toyota has also announced a $7.3 million loan to FirstElement Fuels to support the operations and maintenance of 19 hydrogen fueling stations across California, and collaborated with Air Liquide to develop hydrogen fueling infrastructure in the northeastern U.S. The partnership plans to build 12 hydrogen stations in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.