According to a joint research report released by the European Patent Office (EPO) and the International Energy Agency (IEA), Japan announced 2339 international patent applications for battery related inventions in 2018, almost double the 1230 invention applications of South Korea, which ranked second.
Japan is still a powerful battery innovator, with Panasonic, Toyota and other brands applying for more than a third of international patents in this field.
The two Asian economies are competing fiercely for the dominance of batteries, which are key to the widespread use of electric vehicles and renewable energy, the report said.
Research shows that China ranks fourth in patent applications, followed by the United States, which ranks fifth. The 38 states parties to the European Patent Convention ranked third.
In the past 20 years, battery innovation has entered a stage of rapid development. In 2018, there were 7153 international energy storage invention patent applications, a significant increase compared with 1029 in 2000, most of which were batteries. In 2018, the innovation of lithium-ion batteries used in mobile phones and laptops accounted for 45% of the total battery patents.
In addition, the improved battery can make the electric vehicle travel further after a charge. Energy storage technology will also be able to reliably provide the power needed to compensate for fluctuations in solar and wind power generation.
Although Japan leads in battery patent application, it lags behind in electric vehicles. "Japan's leading position in battery technology has yet to translate into a huge share of the global electric vehicle market," the report said
The report said that China had 1 million 100 thousand cars, occupying half of the market in 2019, while Japan's share shrank to 2%.
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