The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by lightweight, long-lasting batteries and powerful solid-state batteries, and growing importance of technologies such as high energy density, flat voltage curves, and low self-discharge. In the last three years alone, there have been over 1.2 million patents filed and granted in the automotive industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Electric vehicles in Automotive: Zirconium electrode batteries.  Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 619,000 patents to analyse innovation intensity for the automotive industry, there are 290+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry. 

Zirconium electrode batteries is a key innovation area in electric vehicles 

Zirconium‐based materials are emerging as potential candidates for developing the next generation of electric batteries. The first application of Zirconium sulphide (ZrS2) was as a potential lithium-ion battery electrode material. The electrochemical reactions of ZrS2 at various discharge depths were studied along with the structural changes of ZrS2 electrodes under various voltage windows. Reversible Li ion insertion and extraction was demonstrated by ZrS2 electrodes.

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 zirconium electrode batteries. 

Key players in zirconium electrode batteries – a disruptive innovation in the automotive industry  

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators. 

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Patent volumes related to zirconium electrode batteries

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Panasonic 88 Unlock company profile
QuantumScape 71 Unlock company profile
Toshiba 41 Unlock company profile
Toyota Motor 36 Unlock company profile
Murata Manufacturing 30 Unlock company profile
Samsung Group 28 Unlock company profile
POSCO Holdings 24 Unlock company profile
LG 21 Unlock company profile
Daiichi Kigenso Kagaku Kogyo 19 Unlock company profile
Carl Zeiss Stiftung 17 Unlock company profile
BASF 15 Unlock company profile
AIST 14 Unlock company profile
Corning 14 Unlock company profile
NGK Insulators 14 Unlock company profile
Hydro-Quebec 11 Unlock company profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 11 Unlock company profile
Seiko Epson 10 Unlock company profile
Sachem 10 Unlock company profile
Central Glass 10 Unlock company profile
Kaneka 6 Unlock company profile
NGK Spark Plug 6 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Panasonic, with 88 patents, is one of the top companies to file for zirconium electrode batteries patents. The company focuses on identifying and assembling individual membrane electrodes that use hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity. Toyota, BASF, and LG are a few other notable patent filers in the same industry.

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.