The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity in electric drive capacitance management is driven by demands to upgrade grid infrastructure to improve the accessibility of power in both developed and developing nations, and growing importance of technologies such as battery management systems, electric motor controllers, and thermal management 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 Innovation in automotive: electric drive capacitance management. 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 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

Electric drive capacitance management is a key innovation area in automotive

Electric drive capacitance management refers to the technology and systems involved in managing and optimizing the electric drive power supply and control in trailer vehicles. This involves the use of electric motors, drive systems, control units, brakes, and energy storage devices, among others.

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 electric drive capacitance management.

Key players in electric drive capacitance management – 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 electric drive capacitance management

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Volvo 4 Unlock Company Profile
Shandong Heavy Industry Group 7 Unlock Company Profile
Thor Industries 6 Unlock Company Profile
Randon SA Implementos e Participacoes 8 Unlock Company Profile
Plasansa 3 Unlock Company Profile
Tata Motors 5 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 9 Unlock Company Profile
AGCO 2 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 4 Unlock Company Profile
Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies 6 Unlock Company Profile
Cummins 2 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 4 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 3 Unlock Company Profile
Deere 4 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 18 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 4 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 4 Unlock Company Profile
Wrightspeed 2 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 5 Unlock Company Profile
Lohr Industrie 3 Unlock Company Profile
Horizon Global 1 Unlock Company Profile
SAF-HOLLAND 4 Unlock Company Profile
Hyliion 44 Unlock Company Profile
Truma Geratetechnik Putzbrunn 39 Unlock Company Profile
Rinspeed 2 Unlock Company Profile
Kober 1 Unlock Company Profile
Zeppelin-Stiftung 24 Unlock Company Profile
Purple Line 4 Unlock Company Profile
DroidDrive 1 Unlock Company Profile
K-Ryole 10 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Hyliion is one of the leading patent filers in electric drive capacitance management. It has developed a new capacitor bank that is more energy-dense and has a longer lifespan than previous capacitor banks. This allows the electric drive capacitance management system to store more energy and release it to the electric motor more quickly. Hyliion has also developed a new power electronics system that can handle more power than previous power electronics systems, allowing more efficient transfer of energy between the battery pack, capacitor bank, and the electric motor. Some other key patent filers in this space include Truma Geratetechnik, Zeppelin-Stiftung, and Porsche Automobil.

In terms of application diversity, General Motors leads the pack, while Deere and Ford Motor stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, K-Ryole held the top position, followed by Randon Implementos and Hyliion.

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.