The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Hydrogen refueling stations (HRS) can help to reduce emissions from transportation by providing a clean and sustainable way to refuel fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). Hydrogen can be produced from a variety of sources, including renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. This can help to increase energy security and reduce reliance on imported oil. Innovation in hydrogen refueling stations is driven by growing importance of technologies such as hydrogen production, hydrogen storage, and hydrogen dispensing. 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 Hydrogen in automotive: hydrogen refueling stationsBuy 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.

Hydrogen refueling stations is a key innovation area in hydrogen

Hydrogen refueling stations are facilities used to recharge the hydrogen fuel tanks of fuel cell vehicles. These stations utilize various systems and technologies to compress, store, and transfer the hydrogen gas, including high-pressure gas tanks, cryogenic storage, and heat exchangers.

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 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of hydrogen refueling stations.

Key players in hydrogen refueling stations – 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 hydrogen refueling stations

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Marelli 2 Unlock Company Profile
Sazaby League 8 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 41 Unlock Company Profile
Plug Power 4 Unlock Company Profile
Zeon 2 Unlock Company Profile
UT-Battelle 4 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 2 Unlock Company Profile
Air Liquide 8 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 1 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 52 Unlock Company Profile
Sungrow Power Supply 1 Unlock Company Profile
Nel 5 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 47 Unlock Company Profile
China Petrochemical 3 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 9 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 4 Unlock Company Profile
ENEOS 4 Unlock Company Profile
Air Products and Chemicals 5 Unlock Company Profile
Bloom Energy 1 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 3 Unlock Company Profile
Boeing 2 Unlock Company Profile
Yazaki 2 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 40 Unlock Company Profile
TATSUNO 7 Unlock Company Profile
Nikola 4 Unlock Company Profile
Nio 2 Unlock Company Profile
Shijiazhuang Xinhua Energy Environmental Technology 1 Unlock Company Profile
Alakai Technologies 2 Unlock Company Profile
Linde 3 Unlock Company Profile
Korea Railroad Research Insitute 1 Unlock Company Profile
China Energy Investment 3 Unlock Company Profile
H2 Energy 1 Unlock Company Profile
Nat Univ Pusan Ind Univ 1 Unlock Company Profile
Shinwa Controls 13 Unlock Company Profile
National Energy Investment Group 1 Unlock Company Profile
Universal Hydrogen 13 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Hyundai Motor (Hyundai) is one of the leading patent filers in hydrogen refueling stations. Hyundai is developing a high-capacity HRS that can refuel multiple vehicles simultaneously. This will help to reduce the refueling time for FCEVs and make them more practical for use in fleet applications. Hyundai is also developing a mobile HRS that can be deployed to remote locations. This will help to expand the reach of HRS infrastructure and make it easier for FCEVs to be refueled in a variety of locations. Some other key patent filers in the space include Honda Motor, Toyota Motor, and Kia.

In terms of application diversity, Marelli leads the pack, while Bloom Energy and Korea Railroad Research Institute stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Shinwa Controls held the top position, followed by Universal Hydrogen and Sazaby League.

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.