Advancements in technology play a vital role in people's life as they create advantages that make human life easier and simpler. The research and development in the field of vehicle manufacturing, structural design and innovation make for ease and comfort. However, traditional combustion vehicles have some inherent disadvantages also. The gases emitted by these vehicles adversely impact both human life and the natural environment. The toxic gases like carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide are emitted by the vehicles due to the combustion of conventional driving fuel like petroleum and diesel, which result in negative impacts on environment and life and also harm the protective ozone layer of the earth which also leads to global warming. The growing human population constantly raises the demand for energy and technologies, resulting in more production and increased use of vehicles, further deteriorating the environment and drastically depleting the conventional driving fuel reserves, leading to fuel price rises which in turn negatively impacts economies.
The rising costs of the conventional driving fuel and the resultant negative impacts on the environment has led the innovators to search for alternatives – and electric vehicles have emerged as the most viable alternative. Though electric vehicles were first introduced way back in 1829, but in the 1900s, electric vehicles were replaced by preference for petroleum-fueled internal combustion engines (ICEs) due to factors like abundance of traditional fuel, non-awareness about environmental impacts and preference of individuals. But now, rising pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, rising and unpredictable fuel prices have revived people's interest in electric vehicles. The electric vehicle provides a number of benefits over the conventional driving fuel like lower running cost, less maintenance cost, reduced emission of pollutant gases etc.
HISTORY OF ELECTRIC VEHICLE
- 1829 - 1891 - The first electric vehicle introduced in the public domain on a miniscule scale by Thomas Parker. Later, Robert Anderson launched the first crude electric vehicle (powered by non-rechargeable primary battery cell) in Scotland. After that, William Morrison launched first successful electric vehicle in the United States.
- 1899 - 1901 - Thomas A. Edison began to work on improving battery characteristics to give direction to the research and development of the electric vehicles.
- 1908 - 1912 - Model T produced by Henry Ford's Ford Motor Company.
- 1920 – 1973 - Large reserves of the conventional driving fuel like petroleum and diesel become the main reason for downturn in the market for electric vehicles. Many makers stop making electric vehicles. But in the years 1968-1973, the rising prices and decreasing availability of the conventional driving fuel re-generated the interest in the production of electric vehicle.
- 1979 – 1997 - Further new features introduced in gas vehicles become the reason for declining market for electric vehicles. Towards the end of this period, rising pollution caused by burning of conventional driving fuel and government regulations renew the interest of makers in electric vehicles.
- 1996 - EV1, a revolutionary battery driven vehicle, introduced by General Engines.
- 1997 - Toyota introduces Toyota Prius, the world's first mass-produced petrolelectric hybrid vehicle.
- 2006 - 2021 – Now-a-days, number of research and development projects are going-on in the field of electric vehicles. These projects are providing new direction to the automobile industry.
KEY FEATURES OF ELECTRIC VEHICLE
The increasing need and demand for electric vehicles has made the innovators think differently to bring further advanced and innovative features to the EVs. Some advantages of Electric Vehicle are - 1) No biofuels required, 2) No emission of poisonous gases often associated with global warming, and 3) The use of electric engine and close loop control unit reduces the maintenance task. In current times, research is focussed on improving the quality of lithium batteries which aim to reduce the cost of lithium battery and generate less noise as compared to the conventional electric vehicles. The increasing demand for reducing carbon emission and development of advanced and fast charging stations are the two factors expected to propel the growth of electric vehicle market.
MARKET REPORT OF ELECTRIC VEHICLE
The global electric vehicle market demand was estimated at 8.6 million units in 2018 and it is projected to reach 40.6 million units by 2026 with the EV industry exhibiting a CAGR of 21.1% during the forecast period.
Advantages of electric vehicle such as use of new battery technology, being environment friendly, requiring low maintenance and running cost etc., are the reasons which increase the competition among the key players in the electric vehicle market. The increasing market demand of the electric vehicle also increases the patent application filing trends worldwide. The key players with the highest number of patent applications are Beijing Electric Vehicle Co. Ltd, Hyundai Motor Corporation, Toyota Motor Corp., Ford Global Technologies LLC, Honda Motor Co. Ltd, KIA Motors Corporation, Honda Motor Co. Ltd, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd, Boyd Company Limited, and Mitsubishi Motors Corp.
In this growing competition in the field of development and filing of patent applications related to the electric vehicle along with advance features, Tesla is one of the important players. It plays an important role in the design, manufacture and production of the electric vehicles. It recently launched Model 3, which is one of the bestselling vehicles in the United States of America. Tesla also plays an important role in providing new direction in the field of energy generation and storage system. The company has filed 140 patent applications related to electric vehicle.1
COUNTRY-WISE FILING TRENDS FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLE
According to a report, the market for electric vehicle is growing rapidly in the Asia-Pacific region. The highest demand, development, and manufacture of electric vehicles is in the Asia-Pacific region, followed by Europe and the United States of America. The United States of America and China are the top regions in the world conducting most research in the field of EVs. Based on research and development, these regions filed largest number of patent applications in between the years 2010–2020. The country wise patent application filing trends show that after the United States of America and China, the highest numbers are filed by Japan, Korea, Germany, Canada, and Australia. The applicants also use alternative path or route for filing their patent applications like European patent office and Patent cooperation treaty to seek protection in several countries by single and first filing.
Fig. Shows country-wise patent filing trends on electric vehicle.
Environment friendliness, high efficiency in performance, and low pollutant emissions are the factors which increase the market demand for electric vehicles. The advanced features of the electric vehicle also comply with strict government legislation and regulations on the emission of toxic gases from vehicles, which is also one of the reasons for the growth of the segment. It can be inferred from the above market data and patent application filing data that the future of electric vehicles in the automotive sector is very bright. Innovative practices and the filing of patent applications are fueled by high competition among applicants or key players in order to protect innovation and their IP rights.
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