Toyota Gets Inspired by Tesla - Its Fuel Cell Patents are Open Source Now

Toyota Mirai fuel cell 1 photo
Photo: Toyota
If we want the fuel cell powered cars to represent our future transportation, or at least a part of it, one thing is clear - a common effort needs to be done in order to get things going with the hydrogen infrastructure and the actual vehicles’ production costs. Tesla believes the same applies to plug-in electric cars and recently said any good willing engineer can use its patents. Toyota believes now this is the way to build dreams too, and as a result it did the same.
In an announcement at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Toyota said it’s willing to share its expertise and patents regarding fuel cell technology with anyone wanting to make and sell such vehicles as well as build and operate hydrogen fuel stations.

Basically, if you want to start a new company selling hydrogen cars now it’s the time, as Toyota’s technology is one of the best on the market being the first automaker to put it into large-scale production last December.

But there’s a catch

If that’s the plan, you’ll need to act quick because the patents will be available for free only “through the initial market introduction period, anticipated to last until 2020.”

On the other hand, those who want to build and operate hydrogen refueling stations will benefit from free blueprints for an unlimited period of time, since this represents the backbone of the fuel cell future.

The list of 5,680 royalty-free fuel cell related patents includes critical technologies developed for the new Toyota Mirai. About 1,970 patents are related to fuel cell stacks, 290 are associated with high-pressure hydrogen tanks, 3,350 are related to fuel cell system software control and 70 to hydrogen production and supply.

It’s quite a library what Toyota offers here on the tray and we hope it will inspire other automakers build fuel cells or at least sustainable hydrogen “extracting” plants.
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