Giving away patents for a sustainable future

Toyota announced on the 5th of January that the Japanese company will give away fuel-cell patents to boost industry. They presented their fuelcell automobile for the 2015 International CES on January 5, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The company thinks that by giving away their approximately patents 5.600 patents on hydrogen cars other automakers can speed up the production of these cars which use a hydrogen driven engine in a more sustainable way than usual cars.

The vice president of the company said in a press release that the first generation (launched between 2015 and 2020) will be critical and that this needs the support of everyone: automakers, governments, academics and energy producers. The company is truly committed to encouraging the production of these cars in the near future and they are willing to give away their knowledge to their competitors in order to improve our environment. Each car costs about 51.700 € and it is called Toyota Mirai, which in Japanese means “Future”.

Toyota is not the first company in doing so, Tesla announced the same thing a few months ago with the aim of improving the production of sustainable electric cars. During a press release, the founder of Tesla Motors, Elon Musk, declared that if they want to open the way to the production of competitive electric cars they must provide their IP for the rest of automakers or it would be impossible to rapidly improve.

So why all this altruistic acts by the car companies? Well some may think that the Musk will benefit from his Tesla Motors Megafactories which manufactures batteries and will also develop energy storage for the electrical grid that will help smooth out intermittent wind and solar power. If there are more companies producing sustainable cars, they will also need more electric batteries like the ones Tesla is already producing.

But I also prefer to think that some of us have finally understood that the Earth is begging us to stop pollution and that if big companies willing to improve our future by creating sustainable means of transport or by using renewable energy join together they can ease the path to a healthier and longer future.

Irean Navas

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