TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp. will offer free access to its hybrid vehicle patents through 2030, seeking to expand use of the lower-emission technology even as the global industry shifts towards fully electric cars.
The pledge on Wednesday by one of the world's biggest automakers to share its closely guarded patents, the second time it has opened up a technology, is aimed at driving industry uptake of hybrids and fending off the challenge of battery electric vehicles.
Toyota said it would grant licenses on nearly 24,000 patents on technologies used in its Prius, the world's first mass-produced green car, and offer to supply competitors with components including motors, power converters and batteries used in its lower-emissions vehicles.
"We want to look beyond producing finished vehicles," Toyota Executive Vice President Shigeki Terashi told reporters.
"We want to contribute to an increase in take up [of electric cars] by offering not just our technology but our existing parts and systems to other vehicle makers."
The Nikkei Asian Review first reported Toyota's plans to give royalty-free access to hybrid-vehicle patents.
Terashi said that the access excluded patents on its lithium ion battery technology.