Japan is looking to promote fuel cells on two fronts: automobiles and residential storage.
February 10, 2015
Japan’s push to develop hydrogen storage technologies may get a boost from Toyota’s decision to give away its fuel-cell patents.
The auto giant offered up nearly 6,000 fuel-cell patents last month “to increase performance, reduce costs, and attract a much broader market of buyers,” said Toyota senior vice president Robert Carter.
Toyota, which leads the hybrid auto sector with the Prius, began selling its first fuel-cell car, the Mirai (which means “future” in Japanese), in Japan last December. It plans to make the $57,500 sedan available in California and selected European markets later this year.
The patent giveaway could be interpreted as a bid to head off a competitive threat from Tesla, which is betting on battery technology and has also opened up its intellectual property assets to third parties.