Toyota offering fuel cell patents for free to anyone who asks, says it is the first step to spread FCV technology globally
Toyota chose the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show to announce that it is offering 5680 global patent it is holding in relevance to fuel-cell technology for free to interested automakers and vendors if they are keen on developing FCVs (Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles) and technologies.
The occasion of the announcement was the press conference held by the projection of Mirai fuel cell powered model which is expected to hit the dealerships in California by the year end. The Mirai has appeared in our pages with its looks, technology as well as the first-drive article. As we had already articulated Toyota is banking heavily on the hydrogen fuel-cell for the coming years and had been making bigger noises, and the patent offering is one. The company has trumpeted that it is also the potent tool to solve the global warming issue and also opening the path to more widespread use of the technology by other automakers while it is still at the introductory level. Usage of the technology would require signing a contract with Toyota for other companies.
Patents essentially cover three serious areas of the FCV, which would include high-pressure hydrogen tanks, fuel-cell stacks, and the related software to control the system of fuel-cells. These aspects also apply to the just released Mirai and would extend to transit busses and forklift vehicles. The company also holds 70 numbers of fuel-cell station patents and infrastructure technology and Toyota will supply them indefinitely.
The infrastructures to aid the FCV is the biggest obstacle being faced currently and when you go out of California the filling station for hydrogen is almost non-existent and the state is likely to offer only 30 stations by year ending 2016. So it is going to be a long wait for us to see the hydrogen fuel cell power fending off battery electric power and ultimately replacing the gasoline from the scene.