The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by limited fossil fuels reserves and deteriorating environment, and growing importance of technologies which will help in improving fuel efficiency. 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: Vapour recovery integrated fuel tanks. 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
Vapour recovery integrated fuel tanks is a key innovation area in environmental sustainability
Vapour recovery units capture oil vapours, condensate storage gas, or low volume gas from oil separators operating at low pressure. The oil vapours can be used to create fuel gas for facilities or sent to a pipeline after being recovered.
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 50+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of vapour recovery integrated fuel tanks.
Key players in vapour recovery integrated fuel tanks – 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 vapour recovery integrated fuel tanks
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Porsche Automobil is one of the top companies in the vapour recovery integrated fuel tanks innovation area with 168 patents. The company has developed a membrane vapour recovery system for the fuel storage tanks of retail gasoline stations. The vapour recovery system recovers gasoline vapours and returns them to the storage tank. Hydrocarbon emissions are reduced by 95% to 99%, which significantly reduces the carbon footprint of the gas station. Ford, Denso, and Kia are a few further significant automotive patent filers.
To further understand how environmental sustainability is disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Automotive.