Each week, Just Auto’s journalists analyse data on patent filings and grants that illustrate innovation trends in our sector. These patent signals show where the leading companies are focusing their research and development investment, and why. We uncover key innovation areas in the sector and the themes that drive them. 

This new, thematic patents coverage is powered by our underlying Disruptor data which tracks all major deals, patents, company filings, hiring patterns and social media buzz across our sectors. 

Automobile battery patents and electrification patents led auto industry patent applications in the second quarter of this year, according to GlobalData’s patent analytics database.

The total number of patents applications in batteries – the top tech sector for all patents applications in automotive – in Q2 was 25,283 with electrification technologies at 18,115.

The domination of batteries and electrification technologies reflects efforts by major companies’ R&D departments to develop emerging technologies and processes that will facilitate improvements to future electrified products and vehicle systems.

In batteries, the leading company assignees of patents – again over the Q2 period – were LG Corp and CATL. Both companies are pressing ahead with expansion plans for automotive powertrain battery manufacturing as well as exploring next generation technological refinements.

Chinese battery maker CATL recently said it has developed new materials for lithium ion batteries which it claims sharply improve charging efficiency for electric vehicles, especially in extreme cold.

Toyota was also third in the batteries' list of assignees, a sign of the recent strategic shift for that company in terms of developing its EV strategy as a priority.

Technology patents trends and Toyota’s EV push

CATL claims cold weather battery breakthrough