The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the need for enhanced driving experience, fuel efficiency, emission standards and growing importance of technologies such as electric, connected and autonomous vehicles. 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: EV busesBuy 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. 

EV buses is a key innovation area in electric vehicles 

An electric bus is a type of battery-powered vehicle that is powered by electricity rather than diesel or gasoline. The electric bus employs an electric motor to run and uses electricity stored in batteries on the bus.

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 EV buses. 

Key players in EV buses – 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 EV buses

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Volvo 113 Unlock Company Profile
CNH Industrial 19 Unlock Company Profile
Bombardier 128 Unlock Company Profile
NFI Group 8 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 29 Unlock Company Profile
Rosenbauer International 8 Unlock Company Profile
ABB 39 Unlock Company Profile
Phoenix Contact 13 Unlock Company Profile
Hexagon 11 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 109 Unlock Company Profile
Daifuku 8 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 55 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 29 Unlock Company Profile
Arendals Fossekompani 54 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 9 Unlock Company Profile
Intellectual Ventures Management 10 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 74 Unlock Company Profile
Proterra 194 Unlock Company Profile
WiTricity 22 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 12 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 101 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 34 Unlock Company Profile
Sogrepar 7 Unlock Company Profile
Ceres Enterprises 6 Unlock Company Profile
Furrer+Frey 24 Unlock Company Profile
CRRC Group 9 Unlock Company Profile
PVI 10 Unlock Company Profile
IoTecha 6 Unlock Company Profile
Mojo Mobility 7 Unlock Company Profile
Sofibol 11 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Proterra is the top patent filer in the EV bus segment. The company’s most popular patent is for a battery pack mounted beneath the bus floor, allowing the floor inside the bus between the front and rear axles to be substantially flat. Bombardier, Volvo, Siemens, Toshiba, and Porsche Automobil are some of the other leading patent filers in EV buses.

In terms of application diversity, Rosenbauer International held the top position, while Toyota Motor and PVI stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Phoenix Contact leads the pack, followed by Toshiba and Sofibol.

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.