Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday it will allow royalty-free access to its nearly 24,000 patents for hybrid and other vehicles using electrification technology in a bid to expand competition in the market as the industry adopts stricter emissions regulations.

Rather than shutting rivals out, Toyota hopes that making its motor and battery technology accessible to other companies will broaden the market, in particular for hybrids, a field the auto giant leads with its Prius vehicles.

But it remains uncertain whether the use of Toyota patents will be as widespread as the carmaker hopes, observers said. Toyota said in January 2015 it will offer patents related to its fuel-cell vehicles but it has only led to a dozen contracts.