The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation. Activity is driven by factors like enhanced driving experience, fuel efficiency, and engine performance and the growing importance of technologies such as electromechanical actuators, sensors, air brakes, electrification, and connected 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: Wind-powered vehicles.  Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 619,000 patents to analyse innovation intensity for the automotive industry, there are 290+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry. 

Wind-powered vehicles is a key innovation area in environmental sustainability 

Wind-powered vehicles are propelled by sails, kites, or rotors and operate on wheels that may be connected to a wind-powered rotor.

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 wind-powered vehicles. 

Key players in wind-powered vehicles – a disruptive innovation in the automotive industry  

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators. 

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Patent volumes related to wind-powered vehicles

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Toyota Motor 59 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Group 44 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 30 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 24 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 22 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 20 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 19 Unlock Company Profile
Smart Auto Labs 18 Unlock Company Profile
Polaris 17 Unlock Company Profile
Fisker Automotive 11 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Hanergy Photovoltaic Investment 10 Unlock Company Profile
Hanon Systems 9 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 9 Unlock Company Profile
Rosenbauer International 8 Unlock Company Profile
Divergent Technologies 7 Unlock Company Profile
Webasto 7 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 7 Unlock Company Profile
LG 6 Unlock Company Profile
Mercedes-Benz Group 5 Unlock Company Profile
Lockheed Martin 5 Unlock Company Profile
Boxx 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Toyota is one of the top companies in the wind-powered vehicles innovation area with 59 patents filed. The company has introduced Toyota Mirai, which not only combines wind power and hydrogen but also generates hydrogen to power the fuel cell using wind power. It is currently one of the cleanest and greenest cars in the world. Ford, Denso, Kia etc. 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.

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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.