The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Bidirectional charging is revolutionizing the automotive industry, promoting energy efficiency, grid reliability, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, with potential to become a standard feature on all electric vehicles (EVs) Bidirectional charging technologies for electric vehicles (EVs), such as vehicle-to-grid (V2G), Wi-Fi, vehicle-to-home (V2H), and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) help balance grid load, reduce emissions, increase reliability, and improve energy independence. 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 Innovation in automotive: bidirectional charging. 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 stabilizing 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.
300+ 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 one million patents, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Within the emerging innovation stage, integrated multi-motor drivetrains, electric power steering (EPS), and post-collision handling are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Variable compression engines, V2V distance monitoring, and turbocharger shaft bearings are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among the maturing innovation areas are kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) and plasma-jet ignition, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for the automotive industry
Bidirectional charging is a key innovation area in automotive
Bidirectional charging is a technology that enables electric vehicles to both receive and provide power to and from the electricity grid. This means that an electric vehicle can be charged as well as discharge electricity to the grid, allowing the vehicle to function as a mobile energy storage system.
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 40 companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of bidirectional charging.
Key players in bidirectional charging – 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 bidirectional charging
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Toyota Motor is one of the leading patent filers in bidirectional charging, enabling EVs to charge other EVs or power homes and businesses. This technology is expected to make EVs more appealing to consumers and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Honda Motor and WiTricity are some other key patent filers in this space.
In terms of application diversity, Causam Energy leads the pack, while Robert Bosch Stiftung and EON stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Causam Energy held the top position, followed by BYD and ChargePoint.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Automotive.