No one has sold more electrified vehicles than Toyota. After selling the Prius for 20 years, the Japanese automaker has learned a thing or two about what it takes to make an efficient and reliable hybrid or plug-in hybrid vehicle.

Now the automaker is making (some of) its knowledge public. It announced today that it has made over 24,000 of its patents for vehicle electrification-related technologies royalty-free, allowing other companies to access and use the tech free of charge. Additionally, the automaker said it will provide “fee-based technical support,” to other auto manufacturers when developing electrified vehicles using Toyota’s motors, batteries, PCUs, control ECUs, and other EV powertrain technologies.

SEE ALSO: Toyota Prius C Discontinued To Make Way For 2020 Corolla Hybrid

Somewhat surprisingly, Toyota said it implemented these measures after other automakers approached it asking for help with developing electrified propulsions systems.

“Based on the high volume of inquiries we receive about our vehicle electrification systems from companies that recognize a need to popularize hybrid and other electrified vehicle technologies, we believe that now is the time for cooperation,” said Toyota board member Shigeki Terashi. “If the number of electrified vehicles accelerates significantly in the next 10 years, they will become standard, and we hope to play a role in supporting that process.”


Toyota says the 24,000 patents are for things such as electric motors, power control units and system controls for hybrids, plug-in hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles. The grant period for these royalty-free patents starts immediately and will last through to the end of 2030. Contracts for the patents will be issued through Toyota and will contain specific licensing terms and conditions.

“By offering both royalty-free patents and technical support for electrified vehicles, Toyota sees an opportunity to encourage the development and market introduction of electrified vehicles around the world, something it has long considered a top-priority management issue based on its strong belief that environmentally-conscious vehicles will contribute to the fight against climate change only if they come into widespread use through reductions in CO2 emissions,” the automaker concluded.

Toyota making its patents royalty-free can help automakers operating in emerging markets like China develop hybrid and fuel cell vehicles more quickly and more effectively. Mainstream automakers without hybrid vehicles and with small development departments, such as Mazda, may also be interested in such a program.