A joint study from the European Patent Office and the International Energy Agency showed that Japan remains a strong battery technology leader.
Panasonic, Toyota, and other companies have applied for more than a third of international patents in the field of batteries.
Japan’s applications for international patents related to batteries in 2018 reached 2,339. Japanese companies made up 7 of the top 10 patent filing companies from 2000 to 2018.
Samsung was the South Korean company that produced the most, with 4,787 inventions, while Panasonic ranked second with 4,046, followed by LG with 2,999.
Battery innovation took off in the past two decades. International patent applications for as many as 7,153 inventions related to electricity storage were published in2018, a sharp increase compared to the number 1029 published in 2000. Innovations involving lithium-ion cells, used in cell phones and laptops, accounted for 45 percent of battery cell patenting activity in 2018.
Improved battery cells allow electric cars to travel farther on a single charge, and storage technology also enables the reliable supply of energy needed to compensate for solar and wind power generation fluctuations.
And while Japan leads patent applications for batteries,it is lagging in electric cars.
The report notes that Japan’s leadership in battery technology has not yet translated into a major share of the global electric vehicle market.
The study said: China, which has 1.1 million electric cars, accounted for half of the global market in 2019, while Japan represented only 2 percent of the global market in 2019.