EV innovation still in slow lane warns legal expert

Manufacturers need to accelerate progress on innovations to make electric vehicles cheaper as bans on petrol and diesel cars loom, according to a leading lawyer.

UK firm EO Charging last week filed a patent for a new technology aimed at helping EV fleet owners, but an IP lawyer says wider industry innovation needs to ramp up.
UK firm EO Charging last week filed a patent for a new technology aimed at helping EV fleet owners, but an IP lawyer says wider industry innovation needs to ramp up.

Although latest figures show a rise global patent filings for electric vehicles, intellectual property law firm Mathys & Squire said progress on innovation was not happening as fast as many commentators expected.

Patents for EVs have increased by just 4 per cent and 1 per cent in the last two years.

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Partner Sean Leach said much more needed to be done to reduce costs and convince motorists to switch. He pointed out the cheapest new electric car available in the UK is currently priced at £19,795, compared to £7,995 for the cheapest new petrol car.

“There is still a great deal of research to be done to make choosing an electric car an easy choice for every consumer. Prices are still too high for many people and that simply must change by 2030,” he said.

“Manufacturers are competing to deliver an electric car that sells in the £10,000 range. That will require a great deal of R&D.”

Leach also pointed out that the product development cycle is long in the automotive industry.

“It is still going to take some time for a few carmakers to really pivot to electric vehicles,” he said.

The figures compiled by Mathys & Squire show organisations in the US were the most prolific filers of global patents related to EVs last year, with 49 per cent of all patents filed. The UK filed only 0.4 per cent.

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