The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity 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 1.2 million patents filed and granted in the automotive industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Environmental sustainability in Automotive: EV charging connectors. Buy the report here.
However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.
Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.
290+ innovations will shape the automotive industry
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the automotive industry using innovation intensity models built on over 619,000 patents, there are 290+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Within the emerging innovation stage, EV discharge prediction, fuel cell ion exchange membranes, and hydrogen ICE fuel tanks are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. V2G smart metering, silicon-air batteries, and zeolites for exhaust filtering are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are HEV propulsion systems and wind-powered vehicles, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for EV charging connectors in the automotive industry
EV charging connectors is a key innovation area in environmental sustainability
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 110+ 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 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 EV charging connectors
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Sumitomo Electric Industries is one of the top companies with 411 EV charging connector patents. One of the patents filed by the company is for a fibre connection structure that includes an optical connector, module, and assembly. Yazaki, Porche Automobil, and Toyota are among the other companies that have filed patents for EV charging connectors.
To further understand how environmental sustainability is disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Automotive.