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.
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
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 Motor 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.