The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by improving vehicle emissions, fuel efficiency, and overall performance, and growing importance of technologies such as catalytic converter design and exhaust gas recirculation. 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: HEV catalyst temperature control. Buy the report here.
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.
HEV catalyst temperature control is a key innovation area in electric vehicles
The management of an exhaust gas treatment system for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) is critical to ensure effective reduction of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. One aspect of this management is temperature control of the selective catalytic reduction catalyst (SCR) module found in the exhaust after-treatment system (EATS). The SCR module must be heated to a working temperature before it can effectively convert NOx emissions.
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 HEV catalyst temperature control.
Key players in HEV catalyst temperature control – 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 HEV catalyst temperature control
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Toyota Motor is the key patent filer in HEV catalyst temperature control. Toyota had introduced electrically heated catalysts that use integrated heating elements to quickly warm up the catalytic converter during cold starts. These systems reduce cold-start emissions by reaching the optimal operating temperature faster. Toyota had been working on innovative catalytic converter designs, including close-coupled and underfloor configurations, to optimize temperature control and emissions reduction. Close-coupled converters are positioned near the engine for rapid heating. Yamaha Motor and Honda Motors are some of the other patent filers.
In terms of application diversity, Daimler Truck leads the pack, while Mazda Motor and Mitsui Mining stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Johnson Matthey held the top position, followed by J C Bamford and Mitsui Mining.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Electric Vehicles (EV).