The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity in wireless electric vehicle (EV) charging is driven by increasing adoption and government support for EVs, use of high-power technology and advanced materials,  and rising fuel costs and environmental awareness, and growing importance of technologies such as magnetic resonant coupling (MRC), integrated circuit (IC), reduced intensity conditioning (RIC), and dynamic wireless power transfer (DWPT) to ensure high efficiency, long distances, and low interference. 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: wireless EV charging. 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

Wireless EV charging is a key innovation area in automotive

Wireless EV charging is a technology that allows electric vehicles to recharge their batteries without the need for physical contact. Energy is transmitted wirelessly between a charging pad on the ground and a receiver on the underside of the electric vehicle, using electromagnetic induction, resonance, or other technologies.

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 wireless EV charging.

Key players in wireless EV charging – 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 wireless EV charging

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
JFE 13 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 130 Unlock Company Profile
IHI 9 Unlock Company Profile
ABB 31 Unlock Company Profile
Valeo 9 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 22 Unlock Company Profile
Redes Energeticas Nacionais 13 Unlock Company Profile
BYD 131 Unlock Company Profile
Shenzhen Deren Electronic 9 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 21 Unlock Company Profile
Danfoss 10 Unlock Company Profile
Aisin 10 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 44 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 36 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 28 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 12 Unlock Company Profile
Nitto Kogyo 10 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 10 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 46 Unlock Company Profile
Delta Electronics 15 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 27 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 18 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 30 Unlock Company Profile
Resonac 11 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 17 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 17 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 21 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 11 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Electric Industries 59 Unlock Company Profile
Electricite de France 15 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 32 Unlock Company Profile
Hydro-Quebec 13 Unlock Company Profile
Stellantis 10 Unlock Company Profile
Gogoro 14 Unlock Company Profile
Emerging Automotive 21 Unlock Company Profile
Wobben Properties 15 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

BYD, is one of the leading patent filers in wireless EV charging. The company has developed a wireless system using magnetic resonance coupling for safety, efficiency, all-weather operation, and affordability. The system, currently in development, could revolutionize electric vehicle charging in public charging stations, fleets, and homes. BYD's leadership in wireless EV charging patents signals a positive future for electric vehicle charging, with more widespread adoption expected. Some of the other key players are Toyota Motor and Sumitomo Electric Industries.

In terms of application diversity, Emerging Automotive leads the pack, while Hitachi and General Electric stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, BYD held the top position, followed by Wobben Properties and Electricite de France.

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