Toyota announces free access to its patented hybrid tech

Toyota will also sell its own hybrid components.

In an effort to spur the global adoption of hybrid vehicles, Toyota announced on Wednesday that it is offering up its patented hybrid vehicle tech, royalty free, to any automaker that wants it. Toyota's offer will stand through 2030.

Companies taking Toyota up on its offer will gain access to roughly 24,000 technology patents that the automaker uses to produce its popular Prius hybrid. Additionally, Toyota says it will sell its own hybrid vehicle components -- including motors and power converters -- to outside firms.

"We want to look beyond producing finished vehicles,” Toyota Executive Vice President Shigeki Terashi told Reuters.

"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.”

Automakers in Europe and China are expected to be the first hand raiser for Toyota's technology give-a-way. Toyota's existing technology will allow for the manufacturing of hybrid vehicles at a lower price point, and could also serve as a placeholder for pure electrics in areas that lack an established charging infrastructure.

Although Toyota's decision to open up its patent book is certainly an act of good will, it should be noted that the company isn't offering its top shelf stuff. Toyota is only offering technology related to its older battery tech, not its latest lithium-ion systems.

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