The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by performance enhancement, increased range, and efficiency optimization, and growing importance of technologies such as transmission control algorithms, smart transmission control systems, and electric actuators. 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: two-speed EV transmission. 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.

Two-speed EV transmission is a key innovation area in electric vehicles

A two-speed electric vehicle (EV) transmission is a type of transmission system designed specifically for electric vehicles. It consists of two gear stages that can be selectively switched to provide different gear ratios. This allows for more efficient power delivery and improved performance in different driving conditions, such as high-speed cruising and low-speed acceleration. The transmission is typically integrated with an electric motor and may include mechanisms such as clutches, gears, and freewheels to control the power flow.

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 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of two-speed EV transmission.

Key players in two-speed EV transmission – 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 two-speed EV transmission

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Eaton 30 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 384 Unlock Company Profile
IHI 31 Unlock Company Profile
ABB 74 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 97 Unlock Company Profile
BYD 181 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 174 Unlock Company Profile
E.ON 48 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 100 Unlock Company Profile
State Grid Corporation of China 154 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 35 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 94 Unlock Company Profile
Schneider Electric 31 Unlock Company Profile
Murata Manufacturing 38 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 43 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 229 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 274 Unlock Company Profile
China Southern Power Grid 37 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 112 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 186 Unlock Company Profile
Delta Electronics 33 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 183 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 41 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 81 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 87 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines 35 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 44 Unlock Company Profile
WiTricity 41 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 95 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 93 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 81 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 90 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 69 Unlock Company Profile
Chargepoint 57 Unlock Company Profile
Twenty First Century Utilities 32 Unlock Company Profile
Causam Energy 69 Unlock Company Profile
Wobben Properties 61 Unlock Company Profile
Cpi Integration 41 Unlock Company Profile
Sofibol 54 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Hyundai Motor is one of the leading patent filers in two-speed EV transmission. Hyundai Motor's two-speed transmissions contribute to improved acceleration and top-speed capabilities. Different gear ratios enable the vehicle to perform optimally at both low and high speeds. Hyundai Motor’s two-speed transmissions allow for better adaptation to different driving conditions, such as city driving, highway cruising, and off-road scenarios. This adaptability enhances the versatility of electric vehicles. Some other key patent filers in this space are Aisin, Toyota Motor, and Kia.

In terms of application diversity, AVL List leads the pack, while FCA and Honda Motor stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, McLaren held the top position, followed by Zeppelin-Stiftung, Jing-Jin Electric Technologies, and Aisin.

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.