A record number of patents were filed in 2018/2019 as countries race to develop electric car batteries – but data suggests the UK is falling behind when it comes to the automotive technology.
Advisory firm BDO has found 3,400 battery patents were filed in this period, a 57 per cent increase on the year before when 2,167 were filed.
However only five of those filed with the World Intellectual Property Organisation came from the UK, compared to 2,500 from China.
Tom Lawton, head of manufacturing at BDO, said: “Carmakers, electronics companies and universities are all putting substantial resource into developing the technology that will enable vehicles to be compliant with new legislation and consumer sentiment.
“Battery electric vehicles could well be the default system in the near future, and manufacturers are gearing up for that.”
The figures come just weeks after the government announced the UK will phase out petrol, diesel and hybrid cars by 2032.
South Korean firm LG Chemical came at the top of the list of companies to file patents, with 140 submitted.
Toshiba of Japan came second with 129 followed by China’s Byd on 82.
Only Germany’s Audi, with 27, came from outside of Asia.
The report shows the UK filing fewer patents than India and Russia in this area.
The UK government has previously announced plans to bring UK developed battery technology to the market.
One initiative is the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre in Coventry which BDO has voiced support for.
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street is lobbying for a battery producing “gigafactory” to be build in the region.
Last year, Tesla chose Germany as the location for its first European gigafactory.
The country was reportedly chosen over the UK as a result of last year’s Brexit uncertainty.
Fully electric cars currently lack the range to replace hybrid and conventional vehicles.
There are also concerns over their reliability and how accessible charging infrastructure is.