The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by solid-state batteries that are portable, strong, and long-lasting, and growing importance of technologies such as electromechanical actuators, sensors, electrification, 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 Batteries in automotive: silicon-air batteries.  Buy 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. 

Silicon-air batteries is a key innovation area in batteries 

Silicon has long been a popular choice for lithium-ion battery anodes due to its energy capacity being up to ten times greater than that of the widely used material, graphite. Lithium-ion batteries containing silicon have a 20%-40% higher energy density.

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 silicon-air batteries. 

Key players in silicon-air batteries – 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 silicon-air batteries

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
China Baoan Group 31 Unlock Company Profile
Taiheiyo Cement 41 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Steel 39 Unlock Company Profile
Parjointco 20 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 259 Unlock Company Profile
Umicore 171 Unlock Company Profile
SK Innovation 25 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung SDI 97 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 26 Unlock Company Profile
Shin-Etsu Chemical 528 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 35 Unlock Company Profile
Marubeni 21 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 25 Unlock Company Profile
CEA 24 Unlock Company Profile
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique 38 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Industries 42 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 92 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 26 Unlock Company Profile
Sharp 72 Unlock Company Profile
Resonac 45 Unlock Company Profile
LG 324 Unlock Company Profile
JNC 110 Unlock Company Profile
Furukawa Electric 74 Unlock Company Profile
OSAKA Titanium Technologies 89 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsui Mining & Smelting 20 Unlock Company Profile
Hydro-Quebec 58 Unlock Company Profile
POSCO 35 Unlock Company Profile
DR. Alexander Wacker Familiengesellschaft MIT Beschraenkter Haftung 153 Unlock Company Profile
Contemporary Amperex Technology 74 Unlock Company Profile
Semiconductor Energy Laboratory 71 Unlock Company Profile
Enevate 28 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 68 Unlock Company Profile
Nexeon 198 Unlock Company Profile
Group14 Technologies 26 Unlock Company Profile
Dae Joo Electronic Materials 24 Unlock Company Profile
The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission 43 Unlock Company Profile
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan 50 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Shin-Etsu Chemical is the top patent filer in silicon-air batteries. The company enables large EV customers to optimize anode materials and cell designs and produce EV battery packs required for commercial qualifications by providing access to dedicated pilot facilities. LG, Toyota Motor, Nexeon, and Umicore are some of the other leading patent filers.

In terms of application diversity, Nexeon held the top position, while Sharp and Enevate stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Hydro-Quebec leads the pack, followed by JNC and Sharp.

To further understand the key themes and technologies 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.