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Old 04-09-2019, 09:01 PM   #1
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Toyota jump starts electrification worldwide with patent giveaway

Toyota's 10 Year Plan, still considered the intermediate term, announced by Shigeki Terashi, Member of the Board and Executive Vice President of Toyota Motor Corporation, a significant gesture by Toyota to freely share almost 24,000 patents.

"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."

https://global.toyota/en/newsroom/co.../27512455.html
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Old 04-09-2019, 10:18 PM   #2
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:52 AM   #3
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Tesla did something similar, but I don't don't know that anyone took them up on it.

I call into question how many of patents are even defensible. Not sure how Japan works, but I'm fairly certain in the US you can patent anything as there is no way to easily cross reference designs or ideas that may already be in the system. I 'm also certain that most manufacturers file patents for everything they do, even when they know a court would toss it if it got challenged.

Now, for the actually relevant stuff like batteries and motors, I like this part: The grant period will start immediately and last through the end of 2030. No doubt that Toyota would love for you to become reliant on their designs so they can lock you into their ecosystem and start charging licensing fees after that date, which they can use to better control the market and force out competition. But I'm a cynic and when a Capitalist Enterprise "does good," I'm left scratch my head.
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:26 AM   #4
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Yeah, I haven't read Toyota's proposal but you make sense, they're a for profit venture and are hoping to expand the market niche with their world beating electrification systems.

Tesla did this around 2014 with their 350 patents hoping to attract new engineering talent, Musk said. The opposite happened.

Toyota did this around the same time by releasing its 5.600 fuel cell patents that were a flop.

It's a crapshoot but electrification has a better chance than fuel cell tech and Toyota is banking not on "peak oil", but government regulation more than anything to push part of their agenda.
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:30 AM   #5
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...It's a crapshoot but electrification has a better chance than fuel cell tech and Toyota is banking not on "peak oil", but government regulation more than anything to push their agenda.
Sadly I think you are correct, only because Tesla forced it. If someone had started "Hydra" instead it would be in the lead as it is much more conventional delivery system with many of the same benefits of electric.
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:48 AM   #6
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Sadly I think you are correct, only because Tesla forced it. If someone had started "Hydra" instead it would be in the lead as it is much more conventional delivery system with many of the same benefits of electric.
Hydra wasn't good with sharing their power source tech though.


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Old 04-15-2019, 12:15 PM   #7
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Sadly I think you are correct, only because Tesla forced it. If someone had started "Hydra" instead it would be in the lead as it is much more conventional delivery system with many of the same benefits of electric.
That is definitely why Toyota was pushing for hydrogen fuel, for conventional reasons and range anxiety, but Elon Musk was correct when he said that hydrogen fuel was a bad idea, and the focus should be in battery development for delivery, faster charging, greater storage, lighter weight, better materials, etc.

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Old 04-15-2019, 01:38 PM   #8
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There is a lot of different angles to Tesla's strategy to electrify the cars of the world.

Competition has never been a factor for him because he believes all cars will be electric in the future (and he has said any one make/manufacture really only holds a small percentage of the market), and he does not believe there is just limited demand from unique buyers. This is not a sentiment that is/was shared with the rest of the industry, who really didn't see electric vehicles as viable for the masses.

In order to get electric cars to the masses, first Musk needed to prove they were possible (Tesla Roadster) then that they were better and reasonable (Model S/X with supercharger network) then that they were affordable (Model 3).

His plan to make them affordable was to build gigafactories to lower the cost of batteries, but he can't do that alone, which is one of the reasons why I believe he released his patents, so that other manufactures would join him in building battery factories and innovating the industry. Like we have seen a big reduction in solar panels, he wants to see that happen with batteries.

He also needs them to help drive public acceptance. The more people who own electric, the more new buyers will see electric as a norm, the more people can understand their benefits, which outweigh their initial higher cost. It will always be hard to sell something that is cheaper in the long term than in the short term, so the industry would be better if electric was the standard or at least a huge part of the market. Look at Audi's new electric car commercial.




Manufactures are continually fighting with emission laws and regulations. For them, electric cars could be an escape from those costs, but only if everyone gets on board, which is again where releasing the patents could be beneficial. They are fearing that Trump will roll back emission standards, but some states like California won't, so this puts them in a pickle on how to invest.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/30/c...on-pruitt.html

https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-...202-story.html
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Old 04-15-2019, 01:50 PM   #9
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There is a lot of different angles to Tesla's strategy to electrify the cars of the world...
You could take out electric and replace that with just about any other alternative fuel source and the points are still valid.

Musk isn't doing anything new here (see GM EV1 from 1996 - 1999) in the modern car era, he just focused on it rather than having to worry about splitting research dollars between legacy and future technologies. By doing that, he was able to get off the ground. He could have done this with any other alternate fuel, and just as successfully but electric was simpler.

There are other techs that could have totally replaced fossil fuels in nearly all sectors, but electric won't be able to do that, at least not during my lifetime.

That's OK, we're heading in the right direction, we're just taking the long road to get there, and it will have many branches.
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:47 PM   #10
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You could take out electric and replace that with just about any other alternative fuel source and the points are still valid.

Musk isn't doing anything new here (see GM EV1 from 1996 - 1999) in the modern car era, he just focused on it rather than having to worry about splitting research dollars between legacy and future technologies. By doing that, he was able to get off the ground. He could have done this with any other alternate fuel, and just as successfully but electric was simpler.

There are other techs that could have totally replaced fossil fuels in nearly all sectors, but electric won't be able to do that, at least not during my lifetime.

That's OK, we're heading in the right direction, we're just taking the long road to get there, and it will have many branches.
That is a fair point. His strategy isn’t new, nor was it a new strategy to release his patents to gain more outright adoption.

In the case of Toyota, their fuel cells weren’t really better. Like hybrids, they have better mpg’s, but are really mostly just a slight improvement over a Prius, yet many people don’t buy a Prius. The Toyota Mirage is a niche car for ecoheads and high mileage commuters. It was never going to gain market enthusiasm.

Electric has the potential to gain market enthusiasm for simplicity, maintenance, safety, performance, etc besides no emissions and high mpg equivalence. That is why I think Toyota is finally releasing their electric patents too because they see this (finally) as a viable enterprise, but only if more players enter this market.

And I don’t know how old you are, but I wouldn’t be surprised if many fossil fuel markets get replaced sooner than later, if not from cheap renewables then from legislation.
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