Paul van Gerven
22 September 2020

Between 2005 and 2018, patenting activity in batteries and other electricity storage technologies grew at an average annual rate of 14 percent worldwide, four times faster than the average of all technology fields, according to a joint study published today by the European Patent Office (EPO) and the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The study also shows that Japan and South Korea have established a strong lead in battery technology globally. Chinese inventors have been responsible for a notable national increase in electricity storage innovation over the last decade. As a result, the country had almost caught up with the United States in 2018 and now makes a similar contribution to global electricity storage innovation to Europe. In Europe, Germany is the clear torchbearer, accounting for more than half of the international patent filings originating from this part of the world.

Technical progress and mass production in an increasingly mature industry have led to a significant drop in battery prices in recent years. Since 2010, when Li-ion batteries for electric vehicles overtook consumer electronics as the major driving force behind the technology, prices have dropped by nearly 90 percent for EV batteries. For stationary applications, including electricity grid management, the decrease is about 67 percent over the same period.

The EPO and IEA released their study on the eve of Tesla’s Battery Day, on which the company will reveal battery technology that “will blow your mind,” CEO Elon Musk promised.