The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Dual-fuel injectors are witnessing significant innovation due to increased demand for fuel efficiency and stricter emissions regulations. Dual-fuel engines can improve fuel efficiency by up to 10% compared to gasoline engines, as they can run on LPG, a more energy-dense fuel. Stricter emissions regulations by the governments to reduce air pollution and the growing popularity of LPG also increases the need for dual-fuel injectors. 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: dual-fuel injectors. Buy the report here.

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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 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

Dual-fuel injectors is a key innovation area in automotive

Dual-fuel injectors refer to a type of injectors used in internal combustion engines that can inject two different types of fuels into the combustion chamber simultaneously, such as liquid fuel and gaseous fuel. These injectors aim to improve fuel efficiency, reduce emissions, and increase engine power.

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 dual-fuel injectors.

Key players in dual-fuel injectors – 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 dual-fuel injector

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Volvo 44 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Heavy Industries 13 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 83 Unlock Company Profile
Woodward 15 Unlock Company Profile
IHI 10 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi Zosen 9 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 40 Unlock Company Profile
Keihin 11 Unlock Company Profile
Halliburton 36 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 60 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsui E&S 12 Unlock Company Profile
Caterpillar 41 Unlock Company Profile
Aisan Industry 9 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 71 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 103 Unlock Company Profile
Saudi Arabian Oil 42 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 32 Unlock Company Profile
Motonic 11 Unlock Company Profile
Alico 10 Unlock Company Profile
Korea Development Bank 120 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 10 Unlock Company Profile
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation 9 Unlock Company Profile
Wartsila 25 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 15 Unlock Company Profile
Exxon Mobil 18 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 31 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 117 Unlock Company Profile
Kawasaki Heavy Industries 61 Unlock Company Profile
AC 19 Unlock Company Profile
Yanmar (Tokyo Office) 42 Unlock Company Profile
EXEN 13 Unlock Company Profile
Fortive 13 Unlock Company Profile
HD Hyundai 40 Unlock Company Profile
Gates Industrial 14 Unlock Company Profile
Chevron U. S. A 16 Unlock Company Profile
YANMAR POWER TECHNOLOGY 35 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

The Korea Development Bank (KDB) is supporting research and development in dual-fuel injector technology through its subsidiaries, promoting Korean firms such as Dual Fuel Systems and ENERTECH. This aligns with global trends for cleaner energy sources and sustainable automotive solutions, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving fuel economy, positioning Korea as a leader in this field. Ford Motor and Porsche Automobil are some other key patent filers in this space.

In terms of application diversity, Gates Industrial leads the pack, while Fortive and Mitsui E&S stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Chevron U. S. A held the top position, followed by Gates Industrial and IHI.

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.