The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the need for vehicle emission control, and environmentally friendly vehicles and growing importance of technologies such as sensors, artificial intelligence, machine learning 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 discharge prediction.  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 environmental sustainability in the automotive industry 

EV discharge prediction is a key innovation area in environmental sustainability 

While driving, EV batteries go through cycles of "discharge," and they "charge," when the car is plugged in. The remaining usable life of lithium-ion batteries in electric cars is estimated using AI algorithms.

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 discharge prediction. 

Key players in EV discharge prediction – 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 discharge prediction

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Toyota Motor 456 Unlock company profile
Ford Motor 314 Unlock company profile
iRobot 270 Unlock company profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 232 Unlock company profile
Gogoro 215 Unlock company profile
Honda Motor 174 Unlock company profile
Nissan Motor 152 Unlock company profile
Hyundai Motor Group 136 Unlock company profile
Husqvarna 117 Unlock company profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 110 Unlock company profile
Hitachi 106 Unlock company profile
Kia 95 Unlock company profile
Denso 90 Unlock company profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 87 Unlock company profile
General Motors 84 Unlock company profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 75 Unlock company profile
Mitsubishi Electric 75 Unlock company profile
Dyson Holdings 70 Unlock company profile
Panasonic 65 Unlock company profile
Tata Motors 54 Unlock company profile
LG 50 Unlock company profile
WiTricity 50 Unlock company profile
NEC 43 Unlock company profile
Siemens 41 Unlock company profile
Mercedes-Benz Group 40 Unlock company profile
Toshiba 39 Unlock company profile
Pioneer 38 Unlock company profile
International Business Machines 37 Unlock company profile
Renault 37 Unlock company profile
Shell 36 Unlock company profile
AB Volvo 36 Unlock company profile
Continental 36 Unlock company profile
Aisin 35 Unlock company profile
Sony Group 33 Unlock company profile
Mahindra & Mahindra 31 Unlock company profile
Tevva Motors 27 Unlock company profile
Kibbutz Yizreel Holdings 2004 ACS 24 Unlock company profile
Positec Power Tools (Suzhou) 22 Unlock company profile
Accenture 22 Unlock company profile
Nokia 21 Unlock company profile
Omron 21 Unlock company profile
Subaru 21 Unlock company profile
Faurecia 20 Unlock company profile
AutoStore Holdings 19 Unlock company profile
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group 19 Unlock company profile
Wing Aviation 18 Unlock company profile
E.ON 17 Unlock company profile
Lyft 15 Unlock company profile
Emerging Automotive 15 Unlock company profile
SK 15 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Toyota is a leading patent filer in the EV discharge prediction market and has applied for 456 patents. The company is experimenting with new approaches that use a machine learning model to forecast the life of a lithium-ion battery. The model can categorise batteries as having a long or short life expectancy based solely on the initial five cycles of charge and discharge. iRobot, Ford, and Porsche Automobil are a few of the top companies that file patents in the same field.

To further understand how environmental sustainability is disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on 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.