Battery Patents: Lithium Leaders and New Breakthroughs?

This data-file tabulates the number of patents filed into different types of batteries, by year and by geography. Hence, we have identified the patent leaders in lithium ion technology, based on 158,000 patents and the battery materials that they descibe (above).

Continued cost-deflation in lithium ion is suggested by the 26,000 patents filed in 2019, which has doubled in the past 5-years (below), led by China (two-thirds of the patents). The data-file also shows a clear technology leader, while some companies are accelerating. Others are pulling back on R&D or over-concentrating on cobalt.

Competition is accelerating, making leading technologies important. We recently argued supercapacitors could be better suited for hybridizing industry and transport. Moreover, redox flow batteries are emergingas the most exciting new battery technology for grid storage, with patent activity doubling since 2014, to 894 in 2019 (also above). Hence we include notes on ESS Inc.

Interest has been waning in solid state batteries (-57% since 2014) and liquid metal batteries (-67%).

A description of each battery type is shown in the ‘battery types’ tab. Download the data-file for a break-out of the data by country.