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Toyota offloads thousands of hydrogen fuel cell patents


Toyota Mirai
The Toyota Mirai, coming 2016

Toyota has just announced it is releasing 5,680 patents for hydrogen fuel cell and related technology.

This means that third-party manufacturers can make use of the patented tech without risk of litigation or royalty invoices.

It’s a huge boon to the renewable energy market, and is sure to see rival carmakers capitalising on the newly freed tech.

The Japanese automotive firm made the announcement at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show over in Las Vegas.

A large chunk of the patents apply to the Mirai, Toyota’s fast-approaching hydrogen fuel cell vehicle that’s set to land some time next year.

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There are already a few hydrogen fuel cell vehicles already on the market, including the Honda FCX Clarity.

The tech is a big step forward in automotive engineering, as it can power vehicles sans the emissions that you’d get from the standard internal combustion engine.

Hydrogen fuel cells also offer improved range over their electric rivals; the FCX Clarity, for instance, manages around 360 miles on a full tank.

The UK government plans to have 15 hydrogen fuel stations across the nation by the end of this year, so it’s good news that Toyota is doing its bit for the industry.

There is a caveat to the whole deal thought – Toyota says its patents will only be royalty-free until 2020. Better get building…

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