The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by electrification, low carbon emission technologies, and innovations in charging infrastructure, and growing importance of technologies such as smart meters and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technologies. 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: V2G smart metering.  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 

V2G smart metering is a key innovation area in environmental sustainability 

Vehicle to grid (V2G) technology enables energy from an electric car's battery to be returned to the power grid.

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 80+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of V2G smart metering. 

Key players in V2G smart metering – 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 V2G smart metering

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Itron 129 Unlock company profile
Panasonic 119 Unlock company profile
Honda Motor 61 Unlock company profile
Siemens 60 Unlock company profile
Diehl Metering Systems 58 Unlock company profile
Toshiba 47 Unlock company profile
Kudelski 40 Unlock company profile
Senseware 39 Unlock company profile
Kyocera 39 Unlock company profile
LG 39 Unlock company profile
Mitsubishi Electric 35 Unlock company profile
Sony Group 35 Unlock company profile
Veolia Environnement 35 Unlock company profile
Schneider Electric 35 Unlock company profile
Johnson Controls International 32 Unlock company profile
Xylem 27 Unlock company profile
LS Electric 25 Unlock company profile
Semiconductor Energy Laboratory 24 Unlock company profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 23 Unlock company profile
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Forderung der Angewandten Forschung 22 Unlock company profile
Toyota Motor 21 Unlock company profile
Miitors 21 Unlock company profile
Hubbell 21 Unlock company profile
GRDF 21 Unlock company profile
Microchip Technology 20 Unlock company profile
Badger Meter 20 Unlock company profile
NEC 20 Unlock company profile
Hitachi 19 Unlock company profile
Freestyle Technology 19 Unlock company profile
Charterhouse Capital Partners LLP 18 Unlock company profile
GS Yuasa 16 Unlock company profile
Apana 16 Unlock company profile
OK amba 16 Unlock company profile
AES 16 Unlock company profile
Accenture 16 Unlock company profile
Mueller Water Products 14 Unlock company profile
Kerlink 13 Unlock company profile
Aztech Associates 13 Unlock company profile
SIPCO 13 Unlock company profile
Honeywell International 12 Unlock company profile
Masco 12 Unlock company profile
Qualcomm 12 Unlock company profile
Hello (Assignment For The Benefit Of Creditors) 12 Unlock company profile
Emerson Electric 11 Unlock company profile
Intel 11 Unlock company profile
Phoenix Contact 11 Unlock company profile
Vertiv Holdings 10 Unlock company profile
Kilowatt Labs 10 Unlock company profile
Nippon Gas 10 Unlock company profile
Pulse Finland 9 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Itron, with 129 patents, is one of the top companies to file for V2G smart metering patents. It designs meters, communication modules and sensors that provide extensive data throughout a distribution system. The data includes all the information needed to operate more efficiently, control costs and transform businesses. Panasonic, Toshiba, and Hitachi are a few other notable patent filers in the same industry.

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

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.