The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by need for environmentally friendly vehicles, and growing importance of technologies such as electrification, hybrid technology, and fuel cell vehicles. In the last three years alone, there have been over 1.2 million patents filed and granted in the automotive industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Automotive: Battery overdischarge protection.
However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.
Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.
290+ innovations will shape the automotive industry
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the automotive industry using innovation intensity models built on over 619,000 patents, there are 290+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Within the emerging innovation stage, eccentric crankshaft gears, retarder brake system, and closed-circuit liquid cooling are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Bio-fuel ICEs, electromagnetic valve actuators, and road friction estimation are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are tyre bead fillers and vehicle turbochargers, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for the automotive industry
Battery overdischarge protection is a key innovation area in automotive
Overdischarge takes place when a cell is discharged over the lower safe voltage limit established by the electrode chemistry coupling. When the cell voltage hits the overdischarge threshold, it stops discharging current.
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 60+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of battery overdischarge protection.
Key players in battery overdischarge protection – a disruptive innovation in the automotive industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to battery overdischarge protection
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Toyota Motor is one of the leading patent filers in battery overdischarge protection with around 361 patents filed. The Li-S battery is the main post-Li-ion battery technology developed by Toyota. Li-S batteries have the advantage of reaching high specific energy density, using light, abundant and cheap materials and having a higher tolerance to overdischarge. Some other key patent filers in the innovation area include Hitachi, Panasonic, LG, and Nissan.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Automotive.