The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity in multi-mode hybrid electric tracked vehicles (HETVs) is driven by factors such as fuel efficiency, government regulations promoting the reduction of emissions and fuel consumption, ongoing advancements in hybrid and electric vehicle technologies, and market demand for sustainable technologies, as well as growing importance of technologies such as hybrid powertrain systems, electric propulsion systems, and energy storage technologies. 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 Innovation in automotive: multi-mode HETVs. 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 stabilizing 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.

300+ 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 one million patents, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, integrated multi-motor drivetrains, electric power steering (EPS), and post-collision handling are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Variable compression engines, V2V distance monitoring, and turbocharger shaft bearings are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) and plasma-jet ignition, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the automotive industry

Multi-mode hybrid electric tracked vehicles (HETVs) is a key innovation area in automotive

Multi-mode hybrid electric vehicles (HETVs) are vehicles that have multiple modes of power, including a combustion engine and an electric machine arrangement. These vehicles can transition between three modes of operation: combustion engine only, electric machine arrangement only, or a mix of the two. Because they can lower pollutants and increase fuel efficiency, multi-mode HETVs are a popular option for customers who care about the environment.

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 multi-mode hybrid electric tracked vehicles (HETVs).

Key players in multi-mode hybrid electric tracked vehicles (HETVs) – 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 multi-mode hybrid electric tracked vehicles

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Volvo 32 Unlock Company Profile
Tata Motors 119 Unlock Company Profile
Subaru 54 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 461 Unlock Company Profile
Reliance Industries 19 Unlock Company Profile
Schaeffler 45 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 120 Unlock Company Profile
BYD 59 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 1111 Unlock Company Profile
Aisin 331 Unlock Company Profile
Cummins 24 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 505 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 55 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 47 Unlock Company Profile
Suzuki Motor 23 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 224 Unlock Company Profile
Mazda Motor 27 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 22 Unlock Company Profile
Komatsu 99 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 107 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 163 Unlock Company Profile
Oshkosh 31 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 28 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 44 Unlock Company Profile
Allison Transmission 116 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 548 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 512 Unlock Company Profile
Stellantis 34 Unlock Company Profile
Stella Vermogensverwaltungs 19 Unlock Company Profile
Zeppelin-Stiftung 229 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Hyundai Motor is one of the leading patent filers in multi-mode hybrid electric tracked vehicles. Hyundai Motor's multi-mode hybrid electric tracked vehicles (MHETV) technology is a new type of powertrain that combines electric motors, batteries, and a hybrid combustion engine to power tracked vehicles. The technology is expected to be used in future Hyundai-tracked vehicles to improve their fuel efficiency, reduce emissions, and improve performance. The MHETV system works by using electric motors to power the vehicle’s wheels. The batteries can be used to either power the electric motors directly, or to charge the hybrid combustion engine. The engine can be used to either generate electricity for the electric motors or to power the wheels directly. Some other key patent filers in the space include Kia, Ford Motor, and Nissan Motor.

In terms of application diversity, Allison Transmission leads the pack, while AB Volvo and Nissan Motor stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Oshkosh held the top position, followed by Allison Transmission, and Komatsu.

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.