The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the need for enhanced driving experience, emission standards, fuel efficiency and the 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 charging connectorsBuy the report here.

Smarter leaders trust GlobalData

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 charging connectors is a key innovation area in electric vehicles 

EV charging connectors are the end-point connectors that are attached to the charging cable and batteries in an electric vehicle, to charge the batteries which power the electric motor. These connectors come in various specifications, which might change according to the electric vehicle’s batteries.

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 charging connectors.

Key players in EV charging connectors – 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 charging connectors

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Illinois Tool Works 47 Unlock Company Profile
Mercedes-Benz Group 34 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 354 Unlock Company Profile
TE Connectivity 326 Unlock Company Profile
ABB 90 Unlock Company Profile
Phoenix Contact 75 Unlock Company Profile
Valeo 35 Unlock Company Profile
Tokai Rika 141 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 76 Unlock Company Profile
BYD 42 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 40 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 196 Unlock Company Profile
Aptiv 127 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 184 Unlock Company Profile
Lear 75 Unlock Company Profile
Schneider Electric 45 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 33 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 117 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 85 Unlock Company Profile
Legrand 79 Unlock Company Profile
LS Electric 34 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 434 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 104 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 96 Unlock Company Profile
Yazaki 432 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 134 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 86 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Electric Industries 403 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 178 Unlock Company Profile
Stellantis 63 Unlock Company Profile
Phoenix Contact E-Mobility 330 Unlock Company Profile
Kiekert 111 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Denso 35 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Sumitomo Electric Industries is one of the top patent filers in the EV charging connectors space. One of the patents filed by the company is for a fiber connection structure that includes an optical connector, module, and assembly. Porche Automobil, Yazaki, Toyota Motor, and Phoenix Contact E-Mobility are among the other leading patent filers in the space.

In terms of application diversity, Valeo held the top position, while Honda Motor and Kia stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Legrand leads the pack, followed by Nissan Motor and Sumitomo Electric Industries.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Electric Vehicles (EV).

Premium Insights


The gold standard of business intelligence.

Blending expert knowledge with cutting-edge technology, GlobalData’s unrivalled proprietary data will enable you to decode what’s happening in your market. You can make better informed decisions and gain a future-proof advantage over your competitors.


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.