The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by efficiency, performance optimization, regulatory standards, environmental concerns, and growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence, vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication, and machine learning. 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 torque controlBuy 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.

HEV torque control is a key innovation area in electric vehicles

HEV torque control is the process of managing and controlling the output torque of electric motors in hybrid electric vehicles. This involves controlling the electric motors to generate a combined torque reference to a total requested torque and ensuring that the desired torque is generated without exceeding any rotational speed limits.

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 torque control.

Key players in HEV torque 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 torque control

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Volvo 3 Unlock Company Profile
Dana 7 Unlock Company Profile
NTT 6 Unlock Company Profile
Tata Motors 11 Unlock Company Profile
Subaru 13 Unlock Company Profile
Compagnie Generale des Etablissements Michelin 9 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Motors 15 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 116 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 23 Unlock Company Profile
BYD 5 Unlock Company Profile
Zhejiang Geely 3 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 73 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 271 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 11 Unlock Company Profile
Envision Energy 10 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 18 Unlock Company Profile
Renesas Electronics 4 Unlock Company Profile
NTN 4 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 12 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 8 Unlock Company Profile
Mazda Motor 5 Unlock Company Profile
Komatsu 7 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 3 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 2 Unlock Company Profile
LG 8 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 15 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 61 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 21 Unlock Company Profile
Stellantis 3 Unlock Company Profile
Baoding Innovation Great Wall Asset Management 4 Unlock Company Profile
Automotive Research & Testing Center 3 Unlock Company Profile
VCTech 3 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Nissan Motor is the leading patent filer in HEV torque control. Nissan’s predictive torque control utilizes data from GPS, traffic conditions, and sensors to anticipate changes in driving conditions. This allows for proactive adjustments in the power distribution between the internal combustion engine and the electric motor, optimizing efficiency. Toyota Motor and Hyundai Motor are some of the other patent filers in this space.

In terms of application diversity, Volvo leads the pack, while Tata Motors and Zhejiang Geely stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Nissan Motor held the top position, followed by Michelin and Mitsubishi Electric.

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.