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Japan leads in battery research with one third of the world’s patents

Japan remains a leader in research and innovation for automotive batteries. A new report shows that Panasonic and Toyota Motors along with other companies hold more than a third of the world’s patents in this field. In 2018, 2,339 patents related to batteries were registered by Japanese companies, more than twice as many as South Korea, which ranks second with 1,230 patents. This is the result of a joint study by the European Patent Office and the International Energy Agency. The evaluation counted patent applications from companies in two or more countries.

 

 

The two economies of Japan and South Korea are engaged in fierce competition for dominance in automotive batteries. These are seen as a key element for widespread use in electric vehicles and renewable energy. In the study of patents filed, China ranks fourth, followed by the US in fifth place, with Japanese companies accounting for seven out of 10 companies with the most patent applications in the period 2000 to 2018. Nevertheless, Samsung Electronics from South Korea is in first place with 4,787 patents. Tesla’s supplier Panasonic is in second place with 4,046 patents, followed by LG Electronics with 2,999, and Bosch is the first and only European company in the top 10, ranking fifth.

Research on batteries has experienced an enormous upswing in the last two decades. International patents in the field of energy storage rose from 1,029 in 2000 to 7,153 in 2018, with most of the inventions being batteries or related technologies. Lithium-ion batteries, which are used in cell phones and laptops, accounted for the majority of battery patents in 2018, at 45 percent. In the meantime, manufacturers are already researching newer types of batteries, such as solid state batteries or the replacement of the rare metal lithium with sodium, which is much more readily available. Some research groups claim that they have successfully used common salt, which consists of sodium chloride, and electrodes made of lignin, a wood component, in batteries. Improved batteries not only increase the range and reliability of electric vehicles. Increasingly, batteries are also being used in combination with renewable energies such as solar and wind power to balance out their power peaks.

Although Japan is the leading nation in battery patents, it still lags behind in registered electric vehicles. Meanwhile, China, with a total of 1.1 million electrically powered vehicles, claims half of the global market share, while Japan is stagnating at just 2 percent. Since 2005, MPR International GmbH has been supporting major companies worldwide with certifications for the Asian market. Our focus is on Japan, Korea, China, India and Africa. Our customers benefit from our fully integrated and individual certification services. We offer comprehensive certification support for the following certifications for Japan: PSE, PSC, JIS, Radio and Telecommunication Certification, Energy Saving Label Program, Japan RoHS, VCCI and JAS. Our experienced international team will be happy to answer your questions about Japanese certifications.

If you need assistance with product certifications for the Japanese market or have any questions, you can contact us any time by email.

Julian Busch

About the author: Julian Busch is the founder and managing director of MPR International GmbH

Publisher: MPR International GmbH


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Web: www.certification-japan.com/en/

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