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. Buy the report here.

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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

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Toyota Motor 791 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 305 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 305 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 249 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Group 187 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 167 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 161 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 135 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 88 Unlock Company Profile
BYD 84 Unlock Company Profile
Subaru 75 Unlock Company Profile
Suzuki Motor 64 Unlock Company Profile
Mercedes-Benz Group 62 Unlock Company Profile
Mazda Motor 52 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 50 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 41 Unlock Company Profile
Benteler International 41 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 37 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Motors 36 Unlock Company Profile
Shape 34 Unlock Company Profile
Tesla 31 Unlock Company Profile
Thunder Power Hong Kong 30 Unlock Company Profile
Mahle 29 Unlock Company Profile
Nikola 26 Unlock Company Profile
Fuji Heavy Industries 25 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung SDI 24 Unlock Company Profile
Magna International 22 Unlock Company Profile
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group 20 Unlock Company Profile
NIO (Anhui) Holdings 20 Unlock Company Profile
InEvit 20 Unlock Company Profile
TPImposites 19 Unlock Company Profile
AVL List 19 Unlock Company Profile
Ferrari 18 Unlock Company Profile
LG 18 Unlock Company Profile
Compagnie Generale des Etablissements Michelin 16 Unlock Company Profile
Burelle 15 Unlock Company Profile
Hexagon Composites 14 Unlock Company Profile
Raymond 14 Unlock Company Profile
Proterra 14 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Electric Industries 13 Unlock Company Profile
Tata Motors 13 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Jidosha Kogyo 13 Unlock Company Profile
Nio 13 Unlock Company Profile
E4V 12 Unlock Company Profile
Lucid Group 12 Unlock Company Profile
Valeo 10 Unlock Company Profile
MiddleGround Capital 10 Unlock Company Profile
Yamaha Motor 10 Unlock Company Profile
ThyssenKrupp 10 Unlock Company Profile
POSCO Holdings 10 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Toyota 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, 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.

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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.