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Toyota shares fuel cell patents

Date: 6 Jan 2015

Toyota Prius

Toyota has said that it is to share over 5,000 patents that it holds relating to its fuel cell cars without royalties or other charges. The move is intended to help the spread of the more environmentally friendly technology in order to facilitate its take-up worldwide.

Toyota president Akio Toyoda said "One car company alone cannot create a hydrogen society. It needs to be a worldwide effort." Hydrogen is seen as one of the main fuels of the future, as its use does not produce carbon dioxide, one of the main greenhouse gases responsible for climate change.

The initiative reflects that Toyota has calculated that the benefit it would gain from its technological superiority would be undermined by slow and limited spread of the infrastructure needed to support it. Unlike other environmental "disruptive innovations", fuel systems in cars cannot take hold until motorists can be confident that wherever they are likely to go, they will be able to refuel with reasonable cost and convenience.

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