Chinese companies are filing more patent applications related to electric vehicle charging and power switching than their competitors in any other country, making strides in key technologies that make the charging experience faster and more convenient, according to a report released by Tokyo-based patent analysis firm Patent Result.
According to the report, Chinese companies filed 41,011 patent applications in these areas between 2010 and 2022. Although there are few Chinese companies in the top rankings, the number of Chinese players in this field is such that they have filed about 50 percent more applications than Japanese companies in total. Japanese companies came in second with 26,962 patents. Germany came in third with 16,340 patents; the United States was fourth with 14,325; and South Korea was fifth with 11,281.
Many Chinese companies seem to be focused on faster charging times, a key step in driving the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. Of their cumulative patent applications, 17 percent involve fast charging technologies and 10 percent involve battery replacement technologies, well above the 1 to 3 percent of Japanese, German and U.S. automakers. Other key areas of focus for Chinese companies include the design and control of charging stations, power transmission and wireless charging.
The electric vehicle market is maturing rapidly in China, leading to increased competition among companies,” said Hiroto Suzuki, managing partner of the Tokyo office of consulting firm Arthur D. Little. The ease of charging has become an important way to differentiate between different models.”