Toyota Motor Corp. (Japan) announced that it is granting Ford Motor Co. (Dearborn, MI) a license to use its patented technology for environmentally friendly hybrid cars for an undisclosed sum. The companies stated that Ford will be licensed to use Toyota's hybrid technology in a system it is developing, which already is subject to more than 100 hybrid technology patents. They did not disclose the financial terms of the agreement.
Ford and Toyota also agreed to license the other's patents on other types of clean engines, including diesel and direct-injection. Ford is planning to launch a hybrid version of its Escape sports-utility vehicle later this year. Toyota launched its commercial hybrid Prius sedan in 1997, and has since sold more than 200,000 hybrid vehicles worldwide.