Start with the actual press release: https://global.toyota/en/newsroom/corporate/27512455.html
which links to:
https://toyota.jp/cmpn/gp/ma/dc/electrification-technologies... - whose title is "Inquiry regarding royalty-free availability of electrification technologies up to 2030"
That actually sounds like an interesting and positive side-effect, or am I missing something here?
How do you normally sue over a patent violation? Some estimation of damages in comparison to a hypothetical world where the patent wasn’t violated, then multiplied by some number so that it’s not worthwhile to violate patents constantly given that the court can’t prosecute every case?
It would seem as if the good-faith clause is basically asserting there aren’t damages in comparison to a world where the patent isn’t violated (or that usage is actually positive so long as it’s not used by someone who is collecting rent on their own patents.)
Once they had done so, it would be a standard patent infringement lawsuit between Tesla and Toyota.
This could be one path where you could enforce good-faith, IMHO IANAL.
If I cam granting use of my patent to you, I could request you put on a red fedora every day -- and if you fail to do so, then I will revoke you right to use the patent. You have to chose, put on that fedora, or don't use my patent. I guess you could chose to use the patent and be sued...
In any case, I am sure a document worded just right would either prevent that patent being used by a company who does not want to comply, or a lawsuit for violating the patent.
It could be simply put -- if you use this patent you may do so given the following.
1) You grant others the right to use your patents free of charge.
2) You don't sell your patents to any 3rd party.
I am sure there is some other things that might need to be covered.
Independently invent something. Turns out it's already patented, within this good faith consortium. Now the only way to use it is by participating. Normally, this kind of thing results in getting sued for royalties.
You have answered it. Free patent, GPL or not, you'd have this problem. And it's even worse on "normal" cases.
I've contributed quite a few patches to open source projects, and sometimes if I'll review other patches I cannot tell the difference between code I've written or that others had written.
I find it a smart move. Not sure what it really bears though: "for the greater good of the industry" incentive or just a PR move with a string attached.
Of course as a company late to the automotive game it benefits Tesla to neutralise the legal quagmire of patents. But fair enough I say. If their patents are valuable enough, they might get some traction.
License full text here for MS-PL:
What you states is true, but you also cannot assert "any patent or other intellectual property right against Tesla"; with no restriction in terms of relation to EV or whether or not it is a patent. You use one of Tesla's patents? Now they are free to use any of your trademarks, use the software you wrote for your sound system, etc.
It really is a PR item for Tesla that is impossible for any company to take advantage of.
To make some rough strawman examples: If a smaller/startup company gives away patents under a "good-faith" condition, it may at best help other startups try to come up to develop the market - perhaps that was Tesla's intent at the time.
If a larger company does this, I'm a bit more confused on intent - perhaps it might be seen as an 'option' in addition to traditional licensing. Where one can either pay for a license or optionally get a free license in exchange for not asserting patent rights against the larger company later on.
I've seen cases where a smaller company may exert patent rights on something seemingly obvious on the industry (they filed the patent, and some judge in Marshall, Texas enforced it), and ends up becoming a method of sharing patent rights with other companies in the industry (e.g. smaller company exerts patent rights, larger company discovers smaller company is infringing on their patents, lawyers end up sitting down and negotiating some license for license agreement). This may be changing a bit with the changes in how patent holders choose courts (see https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2017-05-25/the-te... )
It looks like there is no lithium shortage at all. Cobalt looks like a scarcer element, which adds cost, but electrode design is improving almost monthly and less cobalt is needed. In addition, cobalt is a recyclable material and this will soon be almost 100% captured for re-use, as the growing shortage drives the reward for recycling it.
This is why the series hybrids don't really make sense. If you have to add an engine to generate electricity then it needs a fuel tank, a cooling system, an exhaust system, etc. By the time you add all of that stuff, you might as well just use that cost and weight to put in a bigger battery.
There is no technical reason you can't use an arbitrarily large battery to get arbitrarily long range, it's just that the incremental cost exceeds the incremental benefit for most people, so the current EVs are targeting the much larger number of people who don't actually need that much range. They're also supply constrained on battery production right now, so targeting the niche that requires a very large battery doesn't make sense yet.
This is somewhat what I would expect to eventually see out of a pickup or something that competes with a Chevy Suburban. You have a large vehicle, so plenty of room for batteries in the floor, which you also need to get reasonable range when transporting heavy loads. But then if you're not transporting a heavy load, the same batteries provide much more range than a vehicle which is trying to be spry and sporty.
Yes, absolutely, which is what's happening. Lithium battery prices have been falling for years. The price today is too high for a competitive light truck. The price in four or five years time, however?
Heck, battery electrics arent' even strictly dominant over hydrogen electrics. Hydrogen makes a lot of sense in some applications, what does it say about batteries if people are willing to go to the hassle of developing fuel cells just to get around chemical batteries?
That said I'd kill for a diesel electric truck, love the torque and smoothness of our EV.
Disclaimer: I occasionally tow ~2500lbs with my Model S. Works very well, no Auotpilot though while towing.
Class 8 trucks like the Tesla semi have an 80,000 pound total weight, hence the name 'Class 8'. Typically the truck and trailer weighs 32,000 pounds leaving 48,000 pounds for cargo. Average cargo weights are in the 35,000 pound to 45,000 pound range. If the Tesla semi significantly raises the empty weight of the truck it will limit the amount of cargo that can be carried. A load of toys will be nowhere near the weight limit but a load of milk products will easily exceed it.
Some states allow increased Class 8 loads as high as 115,000 pounds, mitigating the weight issue.
My guess is that Tesla will try as hard as possible to match the weight of existing trucks. It is interesting that they haven't released weights, perhaps because they don't yet know or because it is bad news. If it was lighter I imagine Elon would have mentioned it multiple times in tweets.
I'm guessing the bad news part.
My Half-Ton Silverado Crew Cab's (That's the 4-door smallest full-size pickup) curb weight is 4,942 lbs.
The heaviest Tesla Model S' (biggest battery I assume) curb weight is 4,941 lbs.
More weight spent on the cab and trailer is less weight spent on cargo, and money in the trucking industry is driven by how much you can carry (Speed is restricted, hours of driving are restricted, but amount cargo - other than weight - is not).
Still, no problems towing a Waverunner to the beach or an antique sewing machine to a friend’s house from a craigslist find.
Ford my actually provide you with that. They showed a Ford Transit in Amsterdam last week. It has 75kW battery with 200km range, but you can order a diesel powered range extender for it.
I think Tesla should partner up with a company that could add a range extender to the frunk.
So I agree, we are quite a ways off yet from plausibly displacing ICE from pickups. At least in the full size pickups. Seems a bit more plausible in the Colorado/Ranger/Tacoma sized pickups that are less often used for towing.
Is the towing capacity limited by the drivetrain or chassis? If it's drivetrain then I suppose that it does not help to move the batteries to the bed. But if you're chassis limited, then keeping those batteries off the towhook would help, no?
To an extent, putting the batteries in the trailer does make a little more sense since it won't count 1 for 1 against payload (typically about 10-15% of the trailer weight will be on the tongue, for safety).
For some reason I actually got downvoted for saying it in my original comment, but cost is a big consideration for now and why I think we're a ways off yet from full size EV pickups. Takes a big battery pack to tow an open parachute (what it feels like towing a high frontal area trailer ;-)) 300 miles a day. And then it has to be recharged, which can be a problem given that most people take RVs places that don't have great infrastructure.
Freightliner has an electric semitruck. So do MAN, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, etc.
I wonder if it is instead possible to have a universal battery installer. A universal battery pack that serves the same purpose as what you suggest, the size of a small engine + petrol tank.
One that is cross compatible with all electric cars. (the hard part) maybe it can be a section in the boot itself. So when not in use, it is simply boot space. (will be easier to be universally. Compatible too) as long as there is a power in the boot.
You pick one up from a store and as long you return it to another store inside of a few hours, you are only charged the cost of electricity + battery rental.
The battery is also large enough that the shape is dictated by the shape of the car. Making them easily swappable wouldn't be easy.
The more likely solution is to just increase the number of charging points, and then have models specifically designed with larger batteries for people who need longer ranges.
The existing ranges are already sufficient for typical usage. Most people rarely drive more than 300 miles in one day, and almost never drive more than 600 miles in one day, so we're already at the point that on 99% of days you don't have to care about it at all and then on the occasional road trip you have to stop for an hour out of every five to have a meal and charge the vehicle.
We love Star Trek, where the "...economics of the future are somewhat different..." where "...we work to better ourselves, and the rest of humanity..." So maybe this is the actual true beginning of cooperation that will make our collective future possible...
Individualism is gravely important to humans. Getting away from individual transport is relinquishing all hope of individual determinism.
Is that normal for a company Toyota’s size? Do Apple, Samsung and others file the same amount in their fields?
I used to work at IBM and having your name on patents was one of the most important things in order to rise through the ranks. Past a point, you could not go higher without some significant activity in the patents realm. There were many patent groups, many talks about it, there was a 'patent score' that people had in their email signature etc. You were also rewarded financially for each one.
In my humble opinion, this was a bunch of corporate bullshit. I've interacted with many people who had an impressive amount of patents and I was always disappointed. Their average patent was something along the lines of: a different way to use the browser history, a color-based way of handling support tickets, adding a list of blacklisted websites to a broswer or similar. It's hard to remember them because they were all unmemorable. Nothing was of substance or something worth being implemented.
You most definitely can, but you should remember that filing for a patent is very expensive. :)
This was years ago, so I cannot remember all the details, but I did attend one or two patent workshops/talks, so I think can can weigh in on this.
Basically, there are a few criteria for a certain submission to be patentable, the most important of which was novelty. There were some others, such as not simply combining exiting technologies to create something obvious (IIRC something called 'inventive step' or something like that), but largely it revolved around it being new.
As you might imagine, the above is somewhat interpretable, so a lot of these could go through if they were a tiny bit novel in their approach. Even if your idea was not patented, your idea might still be published as a white paper just so that others could not then invent something similar. By exposing that idea to the outside world, it became public knowledge, so HP could not go and patent something similar.
I remember being told it's all about the mindset. You don't have to be particularly bright or have some 'divine' spark, you just needed to take a problem/functionality/thing and turn it fiddle with it until you get something new, then do some research (there was special software for this) to see if it already exists, get someone internal to review it (a Master Inventor, as they were called), get in touch with the internal lawyers and send it for review.
please, please and please.
All three of those sound terrific and I'd like the two browser related ones implemented in chrome asap.
(A software company has copyright. For a manufacturing company, patents serve as the primary method for exclusivity on their designs.)
No one wants to be making electric cars until everyone is making electric cars.
Everyone wants to make electric cars, but no one wants to step out in front.
Now that we're seeing Tesla succeed, I suspect the bit is being flipped, and a lot of companies are trying to convince each other that we should all jump into making electric cars now.
Opening up patent libraries lowers the barriers for others. It's grabbing the hand of the kid next to you before you all jump off the dock together to go swimming. It doesn't fundamentally change the nature of the landscape, but it makes it easier to get started.
It took over another decade to move beyond 5V charging.
They saw that that didn't work out that well for them and made it royalty-free. Now it's basically the new USB standard.
Not even basically. It is USB 4: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB#USB4
One would hope, but from reading Groklaw back in the day and HN now, it doesn't seem so.
Volkswagen has already stepped out in front. VW is investing 80 billion euros in their electric car effort:
VW will be the biggest producer of electric cars in a few years.
> a lot of companies are trying to convince each other that we should all jump into making electric cars now
They need to make electric cars now to meet EU and Chinese emissions fleet emissions targets:
In the future new car sales of ICE vehicles will be banned and ICE cars will be banned from some cities, in some places as soon as 2030:
If car companies want to stay in the car business they will have to produce battery electric cars or hydrogen fuel cell cars or both.
Is it so effective in increasing customer acceptance?
I know I will dominate in an environment where EVs are popular, the only problem is, there isn't enough infrastructure for them to be popular yet. Therefore, I will facilitate an environment where they are popular?
"If the number of electrified vehicles accelerates significantly in the next ten years, they will become standard, and we hope to play a role in supporting that process."
They're confident of two things: the move will encourage further players in the space, and they'll compete well against those players.
Also, if the industry follows your lead, you always stay in front.
The "green" halo bestowed on hybrids is really no longer justified. They still burn gasoline, pollute almost as much as any other car, and have ultra complex maintenance like any ICE car.
I hope this isn't just a feint to encourage competitors to get mired in hybrid tech... although in that case the silver lining would be Toyota trying to take a leading position in fully electric.
Regardless of any possible cynical interpretations, it does seem like a hugely positive move overall. Since renewables are now price competitive with dirty options like coal, more and more of the grid will flip over to clean energy, so all-electric vehicles are going to have a huge impact on cutting CO2 emissions.
The Toyota Prius does better than many other cars in environmental impact:
> and have ultra complex maintenance like any ICE car.
The Toyota Prius is reckoned to be one of the cheapest cars to own and maintain:
The maintenance and reliability just doesn't seem to be a problem with the Prius.
That’s just factually and obviously untrue. You can tell by looking at the MPG figure. Any vehicle that burns more gallons of gas per mile proportionally farts out more emissions per mile.
My 2013 Toyota Camry hybrid is 6 years old now, gets 38-41mpg, and I have never charged it. It is a rock solid vehicle and I have never had to perform maintenance on any of the hybrid parts. They just work. Toyota has a reputation for producing low maintenance vehicles using last year’s technology. If the battery eventually wears out later on and I don’t fix it, it’ll get less MPG and be more like every other carbon farting car on the road. Believe it or not, the car produces more electricity from regenerative braking than it uses up so the battery is usually mostly full all the time. The bottle-neck is in the electric motor’s low top-speed. It switches from electric to gas if you ever go over 40mph and back to electric if you go under 40mph.
There isn’t a big need to be so cynical with hybrids. They’re quite amazing and incredible to watch and use.
I had a Camry. They are great cars. But you should test drive a Tesla.
It's interesting to contrast this with the other top car manufacturer, VW. It has decided to push hard on EV's.
You can use these patents, ostensibly, as it pertains to a design of [thing] that youre making.
However, could you use the actual componentry coming out of a tesla facility as patented and incorporate it into your [thing]:
I.e. design a car completely designed to comply with the patenet and design of the tesla sub chassis such that you can modify a 38 Ford to be placed on top of a tesla drive train system?
The reason i ask this is that i had a former boss at this architect firm where he did just this, but instead purchased a corvette Z series car which was “totalled” (fiberglass body was destroyed in a roll) three days after purchase and put a 38 ford body on top of the chassis that needed minimal repairs.
So now he had a ford on top of the latest corvette model avail at the time.
Id like to do this with teslas...
I would like to take an old car and install a small battery, a small engine, and a big electric motor. Because if you are all engine you need a big thirsty engine, and if you are all battery you need a big heavy battery, but if you just need power for say 10 seconds of acceleration, you can have a small battery, and if you just need a big enough engine for the average power usage, you can have a very small engine, and if you have a powerful electric motor, you can still accelerate quickly.
1. More battery banks so each one has to deliver less power during acceleration
2. More space to distribute any waste heat
3. Less waste heat for a given current since we have less current per battery system
So, a small battery bank might not deliver the current you need for your burst of acceleration.