The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity in battery pack swapping is driven by increasing demand and government support for electric vehicles (EVs), and growing importance of technologies such as robotic systems, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and vehicle-to-grid systems. In the last three years alone, there have been over 1.7 million patents filed and granted in the automotive industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Batteries in automotive: battery pack swappingBuy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over one million patents to analyze innovation intensity for the automotive industry, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Battery pack swapping is a key innovation area in batteries

Battery pack swapping refers to the process of replacing a depleted battery pack with a fully charged one. This could be done manually or through automation, where the process is performed by machines.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of battery pack swapping.

Key players in battery pack swapping – a disruptive innovation in the automotive industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.   

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.  

Patent volumes related to battery pack swapping

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Volvo 102 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Investment & Holding 87 Unlock Company Profile
Dana 235 Unlock Company Profile
Mercedes-Benz Group 164 Unlock Company Profile
Subaru 125 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Motors 151 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 2895 Unlock Company Profile
Valeo 100 Unlock Company Profile
Schaeffler 213 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 204 Unlock Company Profile
BYD 264 Unlock Company Profile
Zhejiang Geely 100 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 725 Unlock Company Profile
Aisin 279 Unlock Company Profile
Cummins 100 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 492 Unlock Company Profile
Yamaha Motor 118 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 154 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 329 Unlock Company Profile
Sandvik 78 Unlock Company Profile
Suzuki Motor 254 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 1110 Unlock Company Profile
Mazda Motor 111 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 705 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 530 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 162 Unlock Company Profile
LG 126 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 181 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 589 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Electric Industries 76 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 618 Unlock Company Profile
Kawasaki Heavy Industries 79 Unlock Company Profile
Stellantis 162 Unlock Company Profile
Nio 168 Unlock Company Profile
Thunder Power Hong Kong 103 Unlock Company Profile
Shanghai dianba new energy technology 189 Unlock Company Profile
Aulton New Energy Automotive Technology 167 Unlock Company Profile
Zeppelin-Stiftung 147 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Toyota Motor is one of the leading patent filers in battery pack swapping. The company's robotic arm-based system is expected to revolutionize the industry by reducing emissions and operating costs. The system's widespread adoption could lead to increased convenience, reduced range anxiety, extended battery lifespan, reduced emissions, and lower operating costs, impacting the automotive industry and the environment. Some other key patent filers in this space include  Honda Motor and Hyundai Motor.

In terms of application diversity, BYD leads the pack, while LG and Thunder Power Hong stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Sumitomo held the top position, followed by Yamaha Motor and Sandvik.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Automotive.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.