The power industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by manufacturing opportunity, surge in B2B opportunities, and battery technology, and growing importance of technologies such as wireless power transfer, energy storage system, inductive power transfer, plug-in electric vehicle, plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. In the last three years alone, there have been over 439,000 patents filed and granted in the power industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Internet of Things in Power: EV conductive charging.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

90+ innovations will shape the power industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the power industry using innovation intensity models built on over 83,000 patents, there are 90+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, EV conductive charging, smart grid remote monitoring, and self-organising networks power optimisation are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Smart batteries, renewable energy integrated microgrids, and smart lighting system are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are home automation network power management, and prepaid electricity metering, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for Internet of Things in the power industry

EV conductive charging is a key innovation area in Internet of Things

Conductive charging makes use of direct contact between the EV connector and the charge inlet. The cable can be powered by a standard electrical outlet or a charging station. The conductive charger for EVs has the advantages of maturity, simplicity, and low cost because it simply uses plugs and sockets to conduct electrical energy via physical metallic contacts. In conductive EV charging stations, two methods are used - AC chargers or on-board chargers and DC chargers or off-board chargers. 

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies.  According to GlobalData, there are 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established power companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of EV conductive charging.

Key players in EV conductive charging – a disruptive innovation in the power industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to EV conductive charging

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
iRobot 131 Unlock company profile
Nissan Motor 17 Unlock company profile
Toyota Motor 13 Unlock company profile
Sandvik 9 Unlock company profile
Jungheinrich 9 Unlock company profile
Walmart 8 Unlock company profile
Textron 8 Unlock company profile
Positec Power Tools (Suzhou) 8 Unlock company profile
Eisenmann 7 Unlock company profile
Locus Robotics 7 Unlock company profile
Hitachi 6 Unlock company profile
Intel 5 Unlock company profile
SEW-EURODRIVE 5 Unlock company profile
Honda Motor 5 Unlock company profile
Superpedestrian 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Nissan Motor is one of the leading patent filers in EV conductive charging. Nissan is an automobile manufacturer. It carries out the design, production and sale of automobile products. The company’s product portfolio includes sedans, compact cars, SUVs, sports cars, mini vans, light commercial vehicles, and related parts. The company offers automobiles under the brand names of Nissan, Infiniti, Datsun, Nissan Crossing, Nissan Heritage and Motorsports, among others.

In terms of application diversity, iRobot, Hitachi, Toyota Motor and Jungheinrich are some of the leading filers in EV conductive charging. By means of geographic reach, Honda Motor, Sandvik, and Textron are some of the leading filers in EV conductive charging.

To further understand how Internet of Things is disrupting the power industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things in Power (2021).


GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.