The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Government regulations, consumer demand, technological advancements, and cost reduction are driving innovation in electric vehicle (EV) climate control for the automotive industry. Governments are implementing stringent emissions regulations, putting pressure on automakers to develop energy-efficient vehicles. Consumers are demanding EVs with effective climate control systems, while new materials and manufacturing processes are making these systems more efficient. As the automotive industry moves towards sustainable practices, more innovative climate control technologies are being developed. The automotive industry is developing innovative climate control technologies for EVs, including heat pumps, radiant heating, zone climate control, and smart climate control. These technologies offer improved comfort, reduced noise levels, and extended battery range. They also allow passengers to set their own desired temperatures, reducing the need for noisy fans or compressors. More innovations are expected as the industry moves towards sustainable practices. 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 Environmental sustainability in automotive: EV climate controlBuy 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 climate control is a key innovation area in environmental sustainability

EV climate control refers to the systems and methods used to control and regulate the temperature within electric vehicles. These systems often include refrigerant loops, heat exchangers, compressors, and control units to provide heating and cooling to both the vehicle’s interior and its battery pack.

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 EV climate control.

Key players in EV climate control – 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 climate control

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Marelli 5 Unlock Company Profile
Sanhua 1 Unlock Company Profile
Mercedes-Benz Group 3 Unlock Company Profile
Tata Motors 8 Unlock Company Profile
Valeo 43 Unlock Company Profile
BYD 30 Unlock Company Profile
Shanghai Aero Auto Electromechanical 4 Unlock Company Profile
Zhejiang Geely 4 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 14 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 19 Unlock Company Profile
Hanon Systems 61 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 1 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 2 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 12 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 2 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 52 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 9 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 23 Unlock Company Profile
Sanden 92 Unlock Company Profile
Nio 5 Unlock Company Profile
Doowon Climate Control 2 Unlock Company Profile
Konvekta 2 Unlock Company Profile
Weilai 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Sanden, a Japanese company specializing in automotive climate control systems, is one of the leading patent filers in EV climate control. Sanden is leading in innovation, including heat pumps, radiant heating, zone climate control, and smart climate control. One of its latest patents is for an eco-friendly cooling circuit design, focusing on a variable displacement compressor and two-phase cooling system. Some other key patent filers in this space include Hanon Systems and Denso.

In terms of application diversity, Sanden leads the pack, while Hanon Systems and Denso stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Tata Motors held the top position, followed by Nissan Motor and BYD.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Sustainability in Automotive.

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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.