The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by stricter emission regulations, lower battery costs, and growing importance of technologies such as lithium-sulphur batteries, and cobalt-free lithium-ion batteries. 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 Innovation in Automotive: EV battery storage units.
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, resilient spoke wheels, auto-transmission lubrication circuits, and ignition switching engines are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Engine purge actuators, electro-dynamic braking, and adsorptive vapour recovery system estimation are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are collision avoidance braking control system and direct injection type engines, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for the automotive industry
EV battery storage units is a key innovation area in automotive
Batteries from an electric car can be used in energy storage in two ways. Firstly, through a vehicle-to-grid (V2G) system, where electric vehicles can save energy to send back into the grid at peak times. Secondly, at the end of their first life, lithium-ion batteries can be reused as stationary energy storage batteries.
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 70+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of EV battery storage units.
Key players in EV battery storage units – 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 battery storage units
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Toyota Motor is a key player in the EV battery storage units innovation area. Toyota has released a storage battery system for residential use based on electrified vehicle battery technology. Toyota and utility JERA have commissioned a battery storage system made up of lithium-ion, nickel metal-hydride and lead acid cells, something relatively novel in the sector. Honda Motor, Ford, Porsche Automobil are some of the other key players.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Automotive.