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Enno Kohlisch / Oliver Koppel / Malte Küper / Thomas Puls IW-Trends No. 3 14. September 2021 An Analysis Using the IW Patent Database: Change in Innovation in the German Motor Vehicle Industry

Social and political change necessitates corresponding innovations in motor vehicle technology. This paper analyses the nature of current technological progress in Germany’s motor vehicle industry.

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Change in Innovation in the German Motor Vehicle Industry
Enno Kohlisch / Oliver Koppel / Malte Küper / Thomas Puls IW-Trends No. 3 14. September 2021

An Analysis Using the IW Patent Database: Change in Innovation in the German Motor Vehicle Industry

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Social and political change necessitates corresponding innovations in motor vehicle technology. This paper analyses the nature of current technological progress in Germany’s motor vehicle industry.

Building on an existing methodology for gauging the extent of innovation, the authors present a new procedure for analysing patent performance in the electrified powertrain segment. From 2010 to 2018, the period under review, the total patent output of the motor vehicle industry in Germany increased by 35 per cent. At the same time, the total number of patent applications in Germany identified by the electric hybrid filter (EHF) introduced here increased by almost 125 per cent. Since 2015 there has been a clear shift between patent applications relating to conventional and to electrified powertrains: the proportion of the car industry’s total patent output dealing with conventional powertrains has seen a sharp decline, while the share of patent applications based on electrified powertrains has expanded significantly. At Germany’s three big car manufacturers, BMW, Daimler and the Volkswagen Group, electric powertrain patents already outnumbered those for its conventional counterpart in 2018. The same shift in innovatory activity has been apparent among the five largest suppliers of automotive components, although here the conventional powertrain still dominates. Aside from these eight automotive giants, which between them have filed 88 per cent of all recent patent applications concerned with electrified powertrains, there is very little patent activity in this field in Germany. Among the smaller suppliers, the transition to electrified powertrains actually seems to have stopped. While this is a serious challenge to their future viability, it also offers a great potential for making up lost ground.

 

 

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Change in Innovation in the German Motor Vehicle Industry
Enno Kohlisch / Oliver Koppel / Malte Küper / Thomas Puls IW-Trends No. 3 14. September 2021

An Analysis Using the IW Patent Database: Change in Innovation in the German Motor Vehicle Industry

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