The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by increasing demand for fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV), governments around the world implementing regulations to promote the adoption of FCEVs, FCEV control systems becoming more sophisticated and efficient, and FCEV control system prices being reduced, and growing importance of technologies such as electrolysis, steam methane reforming, and biomass gasification. In the last three years alone, there have been over 1.7 million patents filed and granted in the automotive industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Fuel cells in automotive: FCEV control systems. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over one million patents to analyze innovation intensity for the automotive industry, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

FCEV control systems is a key innovation area in fuel cells

FCEV control systems refer to the mechanisms and processes involved in monitoring and regulating the operation of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). This includes various components such as throttle valves, power control devices, fuel cell vessels, high-pressure vessels, hydrogen tanks, and sensor modules that help in managing and optimizing the performance of FCEVs.

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 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of FCEV control systems.

Key players in FCEV control systems – a disruptive innovation in the automotive industry

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

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

Patent volumes related to FCEV control systems

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Marelli 2 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Rotem 2 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Motors 7 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 93 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 4 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 21 Unlock Company Profile
Yamaha Motor 6 Unlock Company Profile
Suzuki Motor 24 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 24 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 8 Unlock Company Profile
Winbond Electronics 4 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 1 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 1 Unlock Company Profile
Toyoda Gosei 2 Unlock Company Profile
SK 3 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 3 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 19 Unlock Company Profile
Linde 3 Unlock Company Profile
Tatsumi Ryoki 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Toyota Motor (Toyota) is a leading patent filer in FCEV control systems, followed by Suzuki Motor. Toyota's new power electronics converter is more efficient and compact than previous converters. This helps to improve the performance and range of Toyota's FCEVs. The company’s new fuel cell system controller optimizes the performance of the fuel cell stack and power electronics converter. This helps to improve the efficiency and range of Toyota's FCEVs. Some other significant patent filers in the space include Honda Motor, Hyundai Motor, and Kia.

In terms of application diversity, Kia leads the pack, while Hyundai Motor and Robert Bosch Stiftung stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Suzuki Motor held the top position, followed by Mitsubishi Motors and Toyota Motor.

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.