Tokyo - TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) and FORD MOTOR COMPANY (Ford) announced today the conclusion of licensing agreements for hybrid system and emissions purification patents.
Under the agreements, TMC hybrid system control technology patents, among a number of TMC patents resulting from TMC's hybrid system development, were licensed for use in Ford's own hybrid system, which is under development. Ford and TMC have agreed upon the terms and conditions of the licenses in good faith.
Ford remains committed to continuous fuel economy and emissions improvements, working to achieve environmental sustainability without compromising the performance, safety, features and convenience customers expect. Ford’s own hybrid system will feature more than 100 unique patents and this year, Ford will introduce a hybrid-electric version of its popular Escape sport-utility vehicle. It will be the world's first full hybrid SUV when it is introduced later this summer.
TMC, which launched the Toyota Prius as the world’s first mass-produced hybrid vehicle in 1997 and has now sold more than 200,000 hybrid vehicles worldwide, is committed to helping preserve the Earth’s environment and has openly pursued a policy of broadly sharing its environmental technologies. In 2002, for example, TMC and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. concluded a basic agreement on the long-term, continuous transaction of hybrid systems including technical cooperation.
Hybrid vehicles, which have been characterized by their environmental performance in terms of clean emissions and being low producers of CO2, are evolving in terms of driving performance. Thus, their demand is increasing as vehicles of new appeal for the new century.
At the same time, Ford and TMC concluded an agreement that covers licensing a variety of each company’s emissions purification technology patents for lean-burn engines. TMC patents licensed to Ford and Ford group companies involve TMC’s NOx storage reduction three-way catalytic converter system applicable to lean-burn engines, such as direct-injection gasoline engines or diesel engines. Ford patents licensed to TMC and TMC group companies involve NOx control and Direct Injection Spark Ignition (DISI) technology.
Toyota and Ford intend to promote their environmental technologies - both in-house and by licensing them to other manufacturers upon request - to contribute to the preservation of the global environment.