U.S. Automakers Lead In Electric Car Patents


Report: Ford Is Rushing To Debut A 200 Mile Range Electric Vehicle Of Their Own

Electric Ford

According to IPWatchdog.com, US automakers lead in the number of patents related with electric vehicles, ahead of Japan.

Value of particular patents matter more than number of patents, so we shouldn’t make too far-reaching conclusions.

Interesting is that Ford alone holds some 18%. Together with General Motors’ 14.5%, the 2 U.S. automakers have 32.5%.

Tesla Motors registered just 3.3% of all EV patents and Nissan isn’t far above with 4.0%. But can it be true that Nissan is so far behind Honda, Toyota and even Hyundai, or is it more likely that Nissan isn’t too concerned with registering patents?

  • 18.0% Ford (459)
  • 14.5% General Motors
  • 10.0% Honda
  • 7.9% Toyota
  • 6.5% Hitachi
  • 6.1% Hyundai
  • 5.0% General Electric
  • 4.9% LG Chem
  • 4.0% Nissan
  • 3.3% Tesla Motors
  • 3.1% Denso
  • 2.7% Panasonic
  • 2.3% Fiat Chrysler
  • 1.9% Daimler
  • 1.7% Mitsubishi Electric
  • 1.6% Aisin Seiki
  • 1.5% Toshiba
  • 1.4% Exelon
  • 1.4% Mitsubishi Motors
  • 1.4% Midtronics

Source: IPWatchdog.com

Category: General

27 responses to "U.S. Automakers Lead In Electric Car Patents"
  1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “Value of particular patents matter more than number of patents, so we shouldn’t make too far-reaching conclusions.”

    A good caveat. China has been moving to the lead in the number of patents filed, but all too many of those are mere “patent trolling”; companies filing patents with the intent of suing other companies for “patent infringement” even where the company filing the patent has no products or services related to the patent. Actual innovation in China remains shockingly low, despite all the patent activity.

    1. Is it really shocking that a socialist country would lag behind in innovation? Without the freedom to pursue profits and success, there is no catalyst to innovate.

      1. Nick says:

        From the book of Reagan, chapter 12 verse 4.

        1. SJC says:

          GOP mind control goes on.

        2. Kevin C. says:

          Thus sayeth the Gipper,
          “A little hard work never killed anyone, but why take a chance. And one more thing, I do believe it’s time for a martini.”

      2. R:S. says:

        You don’t really think china is a socialist country. They are the most capitalist country in the world! They don’t care about workers rights, anyone called poor, the environment or really anything else. They are also very corrupt, which hinders innovation the most.

        1. Uh….no, China is not “the most capitalist country in the world.” Far from it. Capitalism is defined by private enterprise and private ownership, it is an economic system with little (if any) government interference in trade. The Chinese government controls EVERYTHING that goes on in that country. There is a lot of business that is conducted in China, but they are definitely not capitalists. You may or may not like socialism, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Chinese economic system is indeeed socialist. And to all those who posted snarky comments about Reagan, I noticed you didn’t try to argue the fact that socialism stifles innovation. Tough to argue with history.

          1. SJC says:

            “China’s socialist market economy[16] is the world’s second largest economy by nominal GDP,[1][17] and the world’s largest economy by purchasing power parity according to the IMF..”

          2. Kevin C. says:

            Go Scandavian Socialism.
            Feel the Bern.

            Mr. Trump, build up that wall!

      3. Steven says:

        I didn’t get the memo that China went Socialist. I was under the impression that they were still Communist.

        There is a difference.

      4. Mikael says:

        *lol*… on the contrary innovation is more likely to be strangled in a capitalistic system since profit at all cost is all that matters and it’s better to get a patent and controll or bury the technology as long as your current business is more profitable.
        No regards to the greater good, the safety and progress for people or the environment.

        The oil business has been doing this for ages. In a world going toward innovation very few patents should ever be allowed and almost no for big corporations that mostly use them to hinder others.

  2. ffbj says:

    In my opinion ev makers, especially car makers that only make evs in the U.S. and elsewhere will benefit from the perception that vehicles that produce emissions will be under greater scrutiny. The French just announced a probe into emissions of the automobile group as a whole.
    So those ev automakers will see their stock rise and by extension their patents increase in value. Mainly by default.

    Further evidence of the superiority of electric vehicles will gradually turn individuals away from ice, both from the evs innate technical superiority, and the continued foundering of the old line car as they attempt to cheat, hoodwink, and mislead, their customers. Plus though it is an often overestimated effect, the outraged public can do significant damage to companies. Hopefully (probably not) they, the public, will eventually realize that incidents of this sort are not exceptional and out of the norm but simply de reguer for these, ‘anything to make a buck, companies.
    (end of rant –004).

  3. Someone out there says:

    The patent system is fundamentally broken so I wouldn’t put to much emphasis on it. You can patent pretty much anything if you are at least slightly clever with the wording.

    1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      We have a winner. Any novel idea can be patented. Doesn’t mean that it’s a good one.

      1. Someone out there says:

        It doesn’t even have to be novel. One guy in Australia managed to patent the wheel!

  4. Nick says:

    Ugh, patents.

    There was an interesting conversation on this topic on planet money ~recently.


  5. Josh says:

    I would venture a guess that 95% of all the patents in their graphic have to do with a standard hybrid, not a plug in vehicle.

    Standard hybrids have been commercialized for much longer, piling up more patents.

  6. Greg says:

    I wonder, does VW have a patent for that program they have been using for the last few years to cheat its customers?

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:


      Dude, you just won the Internet.

  7. Mason says:

    Next bombshell: EVs disrupt the space time continuum and may cause the planet to implode

    1. Steven says:

      You’ve been watching Fox News again, haven’t you.

  8. HVACman says:

    Dan Akerson, past GM CEO, was very frustrated with GM’s technology center focusing more on collecting impractical patents than implementing innovations in products. One of his missions was to turn that around:

    “We have been the Patent Board’s automotive innovation leader for years.

    But collecting patents isn’t much good if you don’t commercialize them.

    Today, we are.

    One example: reducing weight in cars is key to reaching tougher fuel economy standards.

    That means using more aluminum.

    Unfortunately, aluminum doesn’t weld together like steel, so most of the industry uses old-fashioned pop rivets to make things like doors. But not GM.

    We patented a way to spot weld aluminum.

    It’s fast. It takes complexity out of our plants and it allows us to take out about 25 pounds of rivets.”


    Patent count isn’t as important the innovations do for reducing cost and weight and/or improving strength, safety, efficiency, power, etc. in the actual product on the street.

  9. Stephen says:

    Tesla and Nissan have proven that you don’t need lots of patents to be top dogs of the EV world

  10. Ahldor says:

    The conclusion is that the US is a patent loving country (Elon Musk excluded).

    It’s the messed up extremist view on a free market economy that lies behind it all. Any form of extremism is bound to fail sooner or later.

  11. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Quantity don’t overide quality…

    Not all patents are created equal.

    Patent counts are only an indication of how much Corporate Patent lawyers have profitted from filing them…