Local companies are heightening their position in the market for electric vehicle batteries using their competitiveness in patents, pursuing strategies that strengthen their technical skills.
According to a report on the trend of patent applications for electric vehicle batteries published by SNE Research on Jan. 12, secondary cell manufacturers LG Chem and Samsung SDI filed 757 and 528 patent applications, respectively. They represent 29.0 percent of all 4,427 cases, which place them in the top spot and the runner-up position each. When Hyundai and Kia Motors are included, the combined number amounts to 34.5 percent.
On average, the number of patent applications related to electric vehicle batteries has been growing more than 20 percent each year since 2008, and Korea continues to be in the top slots.
Industry analysts are saying that the local lithium battery makers' competitive advantage in patents will play a big role in leading the electric vehicle market. In fact, the most cited patented technologies for electric cars are related to batteries, which account for 65 percent of the total.
In particular, the technological innovations associated with separation films are considered to be a conversation topic in the industry that electric vehicles can replace diesel cars. Unless outputs of lithium batteries and technologies for separation films that determine the performance of charging and discharging greatly improve, the mileage of electric vehicles cannot improve, either.
An industry source remarked, “Local companies’ patent dominance is further strengthening their competitiveness in obtaining orders from car makers as well as preventing rival companies from imitating their products as a result.” The source added, “Additional profits are expected by opening their patented technologies to foreign firms and charging royalties.”