Hydrogen fuel cell patents rise, with China leading the way

Hydrogen fuel cell patents rise, with China leading the way

June 29, 2022 0 By Bret Williams

The zero-emission technology is considered to be among the most viable for global decarbonization.

Filings for hydrogen fuel cell patents have been spiking worldwide as the demand for clean fuel takes off.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) says patent filings for H2 are rising fast.

WIPO claims that hydrogen fuel cell patents for vehicles and related tech are rising quickly worldwide. The organization’s report said that China, Japan and Germany are the countries from which the largest number of patent filings have taken place. This data has arrived at a time when the automotive industry has been taking a sharp turn toward zero-emission technologies.

Fuel Cell Patents - zero-emission vehicles

The WIPO report showed that the applications from the H2 sector had risen by almost 23.5 percent between 2016 and 2020. The report also showed that within that same span of time, China held the top space for the number of people who had filed for an H2 patent.

Chinese innovators filed applications for 7,261 hydrogen fuel cell patents.

This figure represents 69 percent of the total patents filed for this category of technology between 2016 and 2020. Innovators from Japan made the next highest number of filings, at a much smaller 1,186 applications, comprising 11.3 percent of the total. German innovators filed 6.2 percent of the total, at 646 total.

South Korean innovators filed 583 applications, representing 5.6 percent of the total, and those from the United States filed 403 at 3.8 percent of the total.

The report also indicated that the filings related to the H2 tech in the transportation sector have reached the point that they have matched those relating to battery electric vehicles, not including hybrids.

The hydrogen fuel cell patents are focused on the powertrain technology widely viewed as the mostH2 hydrogen ebook carbon neutral, as the only emission that comes from vehicle tailpipes is water. Furthermore, when green H2 is used, for refilling, then there isn’t any CO2 released from the production of the fuel either. The same requirement can be applied to battery electric vehicles, which are only truly carbon neutral if they are recharged only with renewable electricity, such as solar or wind power.

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