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. Buy the report here.

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

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Toyota Motor 361 Unlock company profile
Hitachi 144 Unlock company profile
Panasonic 102 Unlock company profile
Ford Motor 75 Unlock company profile
Honda Motor 71 Unlock company profile
LG 70 Unlock company profile
Hyundai Motor Group 64 Unlock company profile
Nissan Motor 62 Unlock company profile
Sony Group 61 Unlock company profile
Denso 56 Unlock company profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 51 Unlock company profile
Murata Manufacturing 45 Unlock company profile
Samsung SDI 45 Unlock company profile
Toshiba 42 Unlock company profile
Mitsubishi Electric 40 Unlock company profile
Suzuki Motor 35 Unlock company profile
CEA 32 Unlock company profile
Kia 31 Unlock company profile
Johnson Controls International 31 Unlock company profile
Tesla 26 Unlock company profile
Proterra 26 Unlock company profile
Brookfield Asset Management 23 Unlock company profile
Tata Motors 19 Unlock company profile
GS Yuasa 18 Unlock company profile
Aisin 18 Unlock company profile
BYD 15 Unlock company profile
Vehicle Energy Japan 14 Unlock company profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 14 Unlock company profile
General Motors 13 Unlock company profile
Sumitomo Heavy Industries 13 Unlock company profile
Continental 12 Unlock company profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 12 Unlock company profile
Sumitomo Electric Industries 12 Unlock company profile
Subaru 11 Unlock company profile
Komatsu 10 Unlock company profile
Yazaki 10 Unlock company profile
Vyaire Medical 10 Unlock company profile
Mitsubishi Motors 9 Unlock company profile
Mercedes-Benz Group 8 Unlock company profile
Renault 8 Unlock company profile
Marelli Holdings 7 Unlock company profile
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique 7 Unlock company profile
Alelion Batteries 7 Unlock company profile
Dow Kokam France 7 Unlock company profile
Positec Power Tools (Suzhou) 7 Unlock company profile
CONNEXX SYSTEMS 7 Unlock company profile
Omicron electronics 6 Unlock company profile
Renesas Electronics 6 Unlock company profile
Furukawa 6 Unlock company profile
Aleees Eco Ark 6 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Toyota 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.

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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.