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EV Patents Surge As Net-Zero Push Accelerates

The number of electric vehicle (EV) patents has gone up all across the world, while fossil fuel ones have registered a rapid decrease in the last five years – a sign that manufacturers are taking seriously the decision made by governments to phase out the sale of new fossil fuel cars from 2030.

Data from intellectual property law firm Mathys & Squire has shown that in the last year 14,000 patents for EV technology were submitted to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) – a 59 percent increase compared with the 8,794 that were filed in 2016.

The number of patents for fossil fuel vehicles has instead slumped by 19 percent, from 30,499 to 24,801.

Despite the jump in patented technology, EVs are still far more expensive than fossil fuel cars. According to the law firm, in the UK the cheapest EV is at £19,795, while consumers can get a new petrol car for £7,995.

“There is still a great deal of research to be done to make choosing an electric car an easy choice for every consumer,” said Mathys & Squire’s partner Sean Leach. “Prices are still too high for many people and that simply must change by 2030.

“Manufacturers are competing to deliver an electric car that sells in the £10,000 range. That will require a great deal of R&D.”

With 49 percent of all global patents filed at WIPO, US manufacturers dominate the EV patent ranks, followed by China – which has registered 3,901 patents in 2020/2021. In the same period, the UK filed only 65 patents, focusing specifically on lithium-ion batteries.

“This picture is worrying, but statistics alone don’t tell the whole story,” Leach added. “UK engineering experts and entrepreneurs are already making the UK a hub for electric vehicle development.”

“The UK Battery Industrialisation Centre is a significant step forward in that regard, but once it has been developed, new technology must be protected if it is going to provide real value to business over the long term.”

Opened in Coventry in July, the £130m centre was developed by the UK Government to foster innovation in battery technology.

By CityAm 

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on December 06 2021 said:
    Hype and a surge in EV patents don’t necessarily assure success until the main essentials of EVs, namely, range, price, availability of millions of charging points worldwide, sourcing of global electricity expansion and finding alternatives to lithium-based batteries to reduce emissions during the manufacturing and decommissioning the batteries, are addressed urgently and seriously.

    And contrary to claims otherwise, a forcible phasing out of the sale of ICEs from 2030 onwards by legislation will doom EVs and could impact adversely on the global oil industry and therefore the global economy.

    The logic is that if people are prohibited by law from replacing their old ICEs with new ones, they may refuse to buy EVs as an alternative and would decide instead to extend the use of their existing ICEs for few more years. If millions around the world took that stance, this will doom new sales of EVs and adversely impact the global car industry (both as EVs and ICEs) as a whole.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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