The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity in contactless charging is driven by the growing popularity and government support for electric vehicles (EVs), demand for faster, safer, and sustainable charging, high-performance computing, and AI-based design, and growing importance of technologies such as magnetic resonance coupling (MRC), wireless electricity, and AI-optimized systems to provide convenient, durable, and faster charging with reduced infrastructure costs. 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 Electric vehicles in automotive: contactless charging. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over one million patents to analyze innovation intensity for the automotive industry, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Contactless charging is a key innovation area in electric vehicles

Contactless charging refers to the process of transmitting electrical power from a charging station to an electric vehicle or electronic device without the need for physical contact between the charging station and the device. This is achieved by using magnetic fields to transfer energy wirelessly, providing a more convenient, efficient, and safe charging experience compared to traditional wired charging methods.

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 contactless charging.

Key players in contactless 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 contactless charging

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Huawei Investment & Holding 94 Unlock Company Profile
Bombardier 150 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 415 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 1512 Unlock Company Profile
IHI 640 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 190 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 88 Unlock Company Profile
SEW-EURODRIVE 90 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 240 Unlock Company Profile
Aisin 59 Unlock Company Profile
Aptiv 88 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 566 Unlock Company Profile
Pioneer 83 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 64 Unlock Company Profile
Arendals Fossekompani 159 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 57 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 88 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Industries 61 Unlock Company Profile
TDK 184 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 161 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 533 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 116 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 161 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 115 Unlock Company Profile
LG 101 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 195 Unlock Company Profile
WiTricity 838 Unlock Company Profile
Yazaki 132 Unlock Company Profile
Continental 172 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 95 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 172 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 110 Unlock Company Profile
Access Business Group 64 Unlock Company Profile
Sogrepar 81 Unlock Company Profile
Equos Research 90 Unlock Company Profile
Semiconductor Energy Laboratory 75 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 212 Unlock Company Profile
Wireless Advanced Vehicle Electrification 61 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Toyota is one of the top patent filers in contactless charging. It has developed a contactless electric vehicle charging system using magnetic resonance coupling. The technology offers advantages like convenience, safety, durability, faster charging, and reduced infrastructure costs. Innovations in contactless charging can accelerate electric vehicle adoption and make them more affordable and environmentally friendly. Some other key patent filers in this space include WiTricity and IHI.

In terms of application diversity, Aisin leads the pack, while Sogrepar and Yazaki stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Nissan Motor held the top position, followed by Semiconductor Energy Laboratory and Sony Group.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Electric Vehicles (EV).

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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.