Press Releases

German automotive industry leads in alternative powertrain technology

Berlin, 17 April 2017

New study by the ifo Institute evaluates international patents for various powertrains

German manufacturers and suppliers are international leaders when it comes to patents for powertrains. This is revealed in a study by the ifo Institute to be published shortly. It reports that around the world, one third of all patents in the field of electric mobility (34 percent) and hybrid drives (32 percent) is from Germany. This result relates to the period from 2010 to 2015. The German companies actually account for 40 percent of the patents on gasoline and diesel vehicles. The lion’s share of research and innovation work goes on raising efficiency. For example, two out of three German patents for combustion engines aim to reduce consumption.

When it comes to fuel cell vehicles, the large automotive nations are racing neck-and-neck. One quarter of the patents in this area is from Germany. Japan’s share is 28 percent, while the US accounts for 23 percent.

Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), commented: “The figures indicate the German automotive industry’s solid technological foundation in conventional and alternative drivetrains. This is rooted in our huge expenditure on research and development, amounting to 39 million per year worldwide. The automotive companies are investing heavily in the future.”

For the study on behalf of the VDA, the ifo Institute examined around 48,000 international patents registered in the product categories “combustion engines,” “electric vehicles,” “hybrid vehicles” and “fuel cell vehicles.”

Eckehart Rotter
Eckehart Rotter Speaker

Tel: +49 30 897842-128 Fax: +49 30 897842-603
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