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Toyota seeks to keep hybrids relevant by releasing trove of patents

Major policy shift aims to expand market before electrics take over

Toyota Motor was a trailblazer in hybrid vehicles with the Prius, but it has been slow to jump on the electric bandwagon.   © Reuters

NAGOYA -- Toyota Motor plans to offer royalty-free access to its coveted hybrid-vehicle technology patents, the company announced on Wednesday afternoon. The company said it will release a total of 23,740 active patents in the field.

Nikkei reported on Wednesday morning that the automaker's policy shift will encourage competitors to enter the market. The latest patents covering motors, power converters and batteries are expected to be among those released.

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