Japanese automaker opens up the door to a hydrogen future by making thousands of hydrogen fuel cell patents royalty-free
The new Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle has proved it can go the distance, achieving 67 miles (108 KM) per gallon in official US combined city/highway driving calculations, and an estimated driving range of 312 miles (502 KM) on a single tank – a distance further than for any other zero-emissions car on the market.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) fuel economy rating for the pioneering fuel cell car confirms that Mirai is the only zero emissions vehicle on the market capable of exceeding 300 miles (483 KM) on one fill.
The Toyota Mirai is the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, a four-door saloon with performance that competes with traditional internal combustion engines. The Mirai’s motor is powered by electricity generated through a chemical reaction between air-borne oxygen and hydrogen in an on-board fuel cell.
According to Takayuki Yoshitsugu, Chief Representative, Middle East and North Africa Representative Office, TOYOTA Motor Corporation, said, “Toyota Mirai is a ground-breaking vehicle that delivers tomorrow's driving experience today, ushering in a new era of efficient, hydrogen transportation. Instead of using petrol, Mirai runs on electricity created on demand by hydrogen fuel and oxygen, with water vapor being the only emission produced by this process.”
The Toyota Mirai captured the world’s attention recently when it was selected by Popular Science, the world’s leading science and technology magazine, as a “Best of What’s New” winner in the automotive category, describing it as “a revolution in its field”.
“Toyota’s commitment to environment-friendly vehicles such as the Mirai is based on three basic principles: embracing diverse energy sources; developing efficient, low-emission vehicles; and driving real and positive environmental change by popularizing these vehicles,” Yoshitsugu said.
“We thank our customers for their trust and continued patronage which further encourages us to create ever-better cars. At Toyota we always put our customer first and by uniting tradition with innovation we are constantly striving to develop next-generation vehicles. The Mirai is a result of this global vision of Toyota and has been well received by customers. With car buyers around the world becoming increasingly eco-conscious, we are confident that the Mirai will set a precedent for future vehicles that will redefine the auto industry,” Yoshitsugu added.
The Mirai amassed an exceptional 1,500 orders in its first month on sale in Japan – a number that far exceeded the expectations of Toyota; the automaker’s initial plan was to sell about 400 units by the end of 2015.
Earlier this year, in a landmark move that could open the door to the hydrogen future, Toyota made 5,600 hydrogen fuel cell and related patents available for commercial use royalty-free, including critical technologies developed for the new Toyota Mirai. The hydrogen fuel cell patents will be made available to automakers who will produce and sell fuel cell vehicles, as well as to fuel cell parts suppliers and energy companies who establish and operate fuelling stations, through the initial market introduction period, anticipated to last until 2020. These early adopters of Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell technology will be the first to experience a new chapter in zero-emissions driving.
Toyota has a long history of opening its intellectual properties through collaboration, and was instrumental in facilitating the widespread adoption of hybrid vehicles by licensing related patents.