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Toyota confirms free access to hybrid-vehicle patents until 2030

Toyota has confirmed it will offer free access to its hybrid-vehicle patents until 2030 as it seeks to accelerate its use of lower-emission technology, according to Reuters.

It is believed Toyota's core aim consists of looking at driving industry uptake of hybrids and managing the challenge of all-battery electric vehicles (EVs).

The automaker confirmed it would award licences on almost 24,000 patents on technologies used in its Prius, the first mass-produced green car worldwide, as well as providing its supply competitors with components such as motors, power converters and batteries in its lower-emissions vehicles.

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Speaking to reporters, Toyota’s Executive Vice President, Shigeki Terashi, said: “We want to look beyond producing finished vehicles. 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.”

It is anticipated that Toyota’s vehicles makes up approximately 80% of the hybrid vehicle market worldwide.

Janet Lewis, head of Asia transportation research at Macquarie Securities, commented: “Toyota has realised that they made a mistake by protecting their hybrid technology for years. This prevented diffusion. Toyota on its own can’t get key technology accepted, but if other companies use it, that offers the best chance of expansion.”