Toyota sees new business opportunity in leveraging hybrid tech

The head of Toyota’s electric vehicle business said the automaker has received interest from more than 50 companies since announcing last week that it would offer free access to patents for EV motors and power control units.

Shigeki Terashi also said Toyota aims to use partnerships to cut by as much as half the outlays for expanded electric and hybrid vehicle components production in the United States, China and Japan.

“Until now we have been a tier 1 automaker, but now we also intend to become a tier 2 supplier of hybrid systems,” Toyota Executive Vice President Terashi said.

Supplying rivals would greatly expand the scale of production for hardware such as power control units and electric motors that are used in gasoline-electric hybrids, plug-in hybrids, fully electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles, he said.