The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by safety concerns and electrification, and growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence and Internet of Things. 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: Vehicle battery cooling systems. Buy the report here.

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

Vehicle battery cooling systems is a key innovation area in automotive

Liquid cooling is the most popular battery cooling technology. It uses a liquid coolant such as water, a refrigerant, or ethylene glycol to cool the battery. The liquid goes through tubes, cold plates, or other components that surround the cells and carry heat to another location, such as a radiator or a heat exchanger.

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 40+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of vehicle battery cooling systems.

Key players in vehicle battery cooling systems – 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 vehicle battery cooling systems

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Hanon Systems 257 Unlock Company Profile
Valeo 221 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 204 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 198 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 161 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Group 127 Unlock Company Profile
Nifco 127 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 99 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 98 Unlock Company Profile
Sanden Holdings 91 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Mobis 90 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 86 Unlock Company Profile
Schneider Electric 85 Unlock Company Profile
BYD 67 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 65 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 45 Unlock Company Profile
Toyoda Gosei 41 Unlock Company Profile
Zeppelin-Stiftung 30 Unlock Company Profile
Fischer Automotive Systems 29 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 28 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 26 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 24 Unlock Company Profile
Tata Motors 21 Unlock Company Profile
Mercedes-Benz Group 20 Unlock Company Profile
Mahle 19 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Investment Holding 17 Unlock Company Profile
Marelli Holdings 17 Unlock Company Profile
Lucid Group 17 Unlock Company Profile
Aleees Eco Ark (Cayman) 14 Unlock Company Profile
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group 12 Unlock Company Profile
Tesla 12 Unlock Company Profile
Samvardhana Motherson International 12 Unlock Company Profile
Dongfeng Motor 10 Unlock Company Profile
Faurecia 10 Unlock Company Profile
Eberspacher Gruppe 10 Unlock Company Profile
Amsted Rail Company 10 Unlock Company Profile
Nio 10 Unlock Company Profile
Aisin 9 Unlock Company Profile
Aleees Eco Ark 9 Unlock Company Profile
Fortescue Metals Group 8 Unlock Company Profile
Sanhua Holding Group 7 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 7 Unlock Company Profile
Raytheon Technologies 6 Unlock Company Profile
Energizer Holdings 6 Unlock Company Profile
Konvekta 6 Unlock Company Profile
Gentherm 6 Unlock Company Profile
Guangzhou Xiaopeng Automobile Technology 5 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 5 Unlock Company Profile
Erae Automotive Systems 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Hanon Systems is a key player in the vehicle battery cooling systems innovation area. Hanon’s battery cooling systems include contact heat exchangers that conduct heat away from battery cells for precise temperature control in electric and hybrid vehicles. The company also produces battery chillers, which transfer heat from the coolant to the refrigerant loop to provide adequate cooling capacity during battery fast-charging mode in addition to heat exchanger solutions for sensors, electronics, power inverters, and other heat management tasks. Denso, Valeo, Porsche Automobil, and Toyota 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.